This is a guest article from the International Revolutionary People’s Guerrilla Forces, an anarchist formation fighting in Rojava, honoring the memory of Martyred Maoist Guerrilla of the TIKKO. We are posting it here in solidarity with these comrades and in the memory of this hero of the people. We are especially moved by this statement. – RGA
On August 14th 2017, TKP/ML – TİKKO Rojava Commander Orhan yoldaş was martyred during an operation in the region. One IRPGF comrade and two other revolutionary comrades were also injured in the operation. With a life of revolutionary struggle spanning nearly 40 years, Orhan yoldaş was an expert guerrilla fighter and commander for TKP/ML-TİKKO. He trained in Lebanon before and during the Civil War and fought for the liberation of Palestine against Zionism and reactionary factions. Under the nom de guerre Martager, he would become a commander in Palestine from 1988-1990. Orhan yoldaş as an ethnic Armenian fought against ethnic chauvinism and had a close relationship with ASALA as well as with the hero, Monte Melkonian. While fighting in Palestine his attention was drawn to the escalating situation in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, and there Orhan commanded Armenian forces from 1991-1992. He returned to the guerrilla forces in Dersim and eventually took command in Iraqi Kurdistan in 2014, and in Rojava in July of 2015 as part of TKP/ML’s Middle East command. He fought against Daesh, whom he considered an enemy of the people and of the unity of Kurds, Arabs, Armenians, Turkmen, Assyrians and other minority ethnic groups. Orhan yoldaş was the embodiment of international revolutionary struggle. He trained, fought, and destroyed the enemy in multiple countries spanning the Middle East and beyond.
The IRPGF is based with TİKKO in Rojava and our two groups have been training and conducting operations together for many months. Our relationship has only strengthened over time; built on a deep sense of comradeship, solidarity and love. We are devastated by the loss of Orhan yoldaş who was an inspiration to all of us. In our time together, Orhan taught us what it means to be a guerrilla and how to dedicate one’s life to serving the people. Rarely resting during the day, he dedicated his life to constant reading, exercising and weapons training. From the pre-dawn hours until long after sunset, Orhan yoldaş would have a work rhythm that most, even those decades younger than him, could not keep up with. Though he was serious and disciplined, we enjoyed moments of great joy, celebration and laughter together. His boundless and youthful energy was contagious and no doubt came from a deep devotion to the revolutionary struggle. He always remained humble and grounded, never trying to be more than a simple worker.
We marveled at his knowledge and life experiences. We learned from his immense sacrifice and selflessness towards all people. The poorest villager turned into his best friend, and he was loved by everyone who met him. We listened to his stories over Arabic coffee; about Palestine, Lebanon and the struggle of Armenians in the 20th century. We shared such amazing and rich moments with Orhan yoldaş. Often heard saying, “It’s the dialectic!”, Orhan yoldaş would read and reread Mao’s texts for over 40 years taking countless pages of meticulous notes that he would discuss every morning with other TİKKO comrades. He told us that everyday he was still learning new things from Chairman Mao. With us anarchists of the IRPGF, he would speak about our common ideological links, taking the time to read and engage with our texts and analysis. Ideologically, we were bonded as international revolutionaries, anti-imperialists and anti-fascists who sought to fight against the state, hierarchy and bureaucracy. He was dedicated to building long term ties between Maoists and anarchists which he felt was important for advancing the global revolutionary struggle.
Orhan yoldaş, through your life of struggle and revolutionary internationalism, you have opened up the way and showed us the path of the guerrilla. You will always be remembered as our teacher and as a student of the people. A man of little possessions, who gave everything he had to the people, we will remember you with your tattered book of Mao and your Kalashnikov always by your side. You will live on forever in our struggles as we continue to battle the systems, structures and forces you dedicated your entire life to defeating.
ORHAN YOLDAŞ IS IMMORTAL AND LIVES ON IN THE REVOLUTIONARY STRUGGLE!
LONG LIVE PROLETARIAN INTERNATIONALISM
& THE UNITY OF ALL PEOPLE!
VICTORY TO THE PEOPLE’S ARMED STRUGGLE
VICTORY WILL BELONG TO THE OPPRESSED
PEOPLES OF THE WORLD!
-International Revolutionary People’s Guerrilla Forces