Three saplings and Ali Elverdi on the gallows

Kemal Anadol wrote

Today is the fiftieth anniversary of the executions of Deniz Gezmiş, Yusuf Aslan and Hüseyin İnan, one of the political murders committed by the judiciary. Despite all these years, the memories of the three saplings who died in their prime for the cause they believed in, without bending over, crying or moaning on death row are still fresh. Hundreds, thousands of Deniz are added to it each year. They don’t say “the sea never dies” for nothing!

I have written several times in this column. Because the decision of history is ahead of the decision of justice… Time is the greatest arbiter. If society has not been able to digest the verdict of the courts and especially the execution, this decision is like money; is invalid. Those who signed the decision are condemned to disappear into the darkness of history in addition to being cursed!

On the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the execution, which brought shame to our democracy, I would like to tell a part of my life to mark history.

Chief of the General Staff, General Memduh Tağmaç, who seized power within the chain of command with the memorandum of March 12, 1971, succinctly explained the reason for the coup: “Social awakening has surpassed economic development! The practices of martial law commandments declared after the memorandum, which do not recognize rules, logic and conscience, are the result of this understanding. The decision is made: society will be afraid! For this reason, “Dear Citizen Whistleblower” was held in high esteem. This is why the historic Ziverbey mansion has been transformed into a torture center! Writers, illustrators, intellectuals and trade unionists were tried by courts of martial law created for this purpose. Deniz Gezmiş, Yusuf Aslan and Hüseyin İnan, who marched from Samsun to Ankara for full independence and did not get their hands dirty in their actions, were executed for this reason. Can you imagine? UNESCO declared 1971 the “World Year of the Book” and Turkey went down in history as a country whose stoves were not burned with coal but with books that year!

I was with the workers and trade unionists who were imprisoned in the dungeons of Istanbul Harbiye on the charge of breaking Ayşe, the blast furnace of Ereğli Demir-Çelik (ERDEMİR). Faik Türun, commander of the 1st army and martial law, introduced us all to Turkey as saboteurs. Of course, when it was proved otherwise, he did not have the honor to say that a wrong had been done to his compatriots, whom he interpreted with dignity. But the citizens proved that they were not deceived by these lies by electing me MP for Zonguldak in the 1973 elections.


The General Assembly Hall of the 15th period of the Turkish Grand National Assembly was magnificent. Opposite the balconies was the presidential sofa. Just below was the oratory which was accessed by stairs left and right. On the right, the council of ministers, and on the left, the departments of the commission. The deputies were seated on the floor in double rows lined up one after the other. The parties were deployed in separate sections according to their number. The ranks of the CHP and the AP (Justice Party) were side by side. Due to the sanctity of the alphabetical order, I fell to the end of the CHP ranks. So I was next to the next AP deputy. I was 32 when I entered parliament. I had my fastest period in politics. Even though I didn’t use the podium very often, I used to sit in my place without getting involved in fights. Despite the ideological differences, I took care to preserve civilized relations. This situation lasted two years. On October 12, 1975, following by-elections held in five provinces, Ali Elverdi, the head of the martial law court, who signed the death warrant of three saplings, entered parliament as a deputy. Süleyman Demirel, who had had the majority of parliament approve the execution of the Deniz with a feeling of hatred and revenge, was not content with it and, three years later, he placed Ali Elverdi on the desks of his party! We could not forget the grim session of the Assembly that day. The deputies, who raised their hands towards the death penalty with hysterical cries of “Three, three, three”, were supposed to avenge the three executions in Yassıada!

Fortunately, Ali Elverdi was seated at the end of the AP benches. So we became neighbors! To compensate for his inexperience, I had spoken to him several times and had warned him by breaking my courtesy. “Don’t ever say my name again or tell me anything. I will be very spoiled! But since he did not come from politics, he was in a hurry. He wanted to make a name for himself in a short time and make his star shine. Somehow he always said he was an expert on communism. Naturally, he drew backlash from the ranks of the opposition. Is it easy; The image of the three saplings came to life in the memory of everyone who saw him on the podium…

In all the democratic countries of the world, parliaments are a kind of platform for reflection. The parties display their ideological views here, the spokespersons express their thoughts from the rostrum. Fighting in the Legislative Assembly is an ugly sight that should be kept out of sight. Every fight is inappropriate and undermines the dignity of the council. On the other hand, it is inevitable to encounter incidents that begin with insults to each other, escalate into pushing and ending in punches, but not often.

He never leaves my mind. The Assembly was attending one of the important sessions. Prime Minister Süleyman Demirel watched the session with ministers at his side and behind him. We saw Ali Elverdi on the podium. Somehow he managed to get his feet wet, speaking his expertise from the rostrum, hurling insults at left-wing thinking. We were curiously watching Urfa MP Celal Paydaş, who suddenly stepped onto the podium from the left stairs with his burly body. He knocked out Elverdi with a single punch; He took him in his arms and went down the other staircase and left him in front of Demirel! When a big conflict was about to break out, an icy atmosphere reigned in the room, and Elverdi’s spell was broken and his bubble burst! Later, he becomes a candidate in the PA group elections and has to settle for a few votes and lose. We haven’t seen him in a fight since that day. He watched the conversation in silence without getting up.


Our position did not change in the following days. We were again in the role of quarrelsome neighbors with him! It had been long enough. Again, we encountered images that are not suitable for editing and are rare. I have never witnessed such a long fight. Ankara CHP MP Yaşar Ceyhan, who walked away from the fight with a nosebleed, was arguing with greed. “Bastards, traitors…”

Elverdi could contain himself no longer. He started shouting from his seat: “I was a judge for three and a half years. I know who a traitor is! My patience was over. I stood up on reflex and grabbed his collar. “You acted as an executioner, not as a judge. You speak shamelessly…” Shouting, I saw three Justice Party deputies coming towards us. I was like, “Oh my god, Kemal.” “How are you going to manage three people? I turned my face towards them and clenched my fists when they shouted at me, “Let go, Mr. Kemal.” It’s not worth fighting with him! For a second, I was overwhelmed with feelings of relief, amazement, and amazement. I sat down quietly. I started thinking. More than three years had passed since the executions. The court’s decision and the successive hanging of three seedlings had created an incurable wound in public opinion. Even MEPs were impressed. They saw Elverdi as a stranger among them.

However, this example would not have bothered Süleyman Demirel, because another 12 March oppressor, Faik Türün, was elected MP for Manisa in the 1977 elections. Unfortunately, democracy in Turkey is an argument that politicians use when it arrange them. Or Demirel, in his interview with Abdi İpekçi, would he say, “He gathered his bowl and his comb and left” for the President of Chile, Salvador Allende, who was overthrown by fascist General Pinoche on the orders of the CIA ?


I write again. The decision of history always prevails over the decision of the judiciary. There is no correction, appeal or appeal of the story’s decision! History decides sometimes late, sometimes early. Deniz Gezmiş recorded the executions of Yusuf Inan and Hüseyin Aslan in his black notebook. The Ergenekon, Sledgehammer, Poyrazköy and Military Espionage of Justice FETO cases were also tried while the trials were still ongoing!

There are no double standards in history. Execution is an inhumane practice. In particular, the execution of a politician and a thinker constitutes a separate crime. Therefore, those who defended the execution of Deniz Gezmiş and his friends have no right to criticize the Yassıada disaster.

No doubt the Admirals case which is pending and the decisions in the Gezi case which have not yet been finalized have already appeared in the pages of history to be read by future generations!

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