Sun Dec 03, 2023
December 03, 2023

The Party of Allah: From Hizbullah to Hüda-Par

On the May 14 parliamentary elections, one of the parties that entered parliament from the lists of the People’s Alliance is Hüda-Par. The party name stands for “Free Cause Party.” But the important detail to be noted in the party name is that the word “Hüda” means Allah in Persian. This refers to the fact that they are the party of Allah. The party of Allah, meaning Hizbullah[1].

The legal party of the Hizbullah organization, which tortured and killed hundreds of people in Kurdish provinces in the 90s, entered parliament in 2023 and declared its legitimacy. So, who is Hizbullah, this organization of murderers that makes people nervous even at the mention of its name?

By Nihan Drama

Establishment of the Organization

Although Hizbullah started to make a name for itself in 1991, its foundation dates back to 1979 in Batman, to Hüseyin Velioğlu. After studying politics in Ankara, Hüseyin Velioğlu returned to his hometown Batman in 1979. At that time, the region was dominated by leftist ideology. Conservatives, on the other hand, were organized in the National Salvation Party or MSP (Millî Selâmet Partisi). Velioğlu did not join the MSP because he had other plans. His plans gained ground and momentum with the overthrow of the Shah and the Islamic revolution in Iran. Reflecting the situation in Iran, in Batman, Islamists organized marches in the streets and propaganda for an Islamic popular revolution increased. Velioğlu began to educate the youth in his hometown in line with his ideology.

Istanbul Hizbullah was established in Kasımpaşa. Many of the members of the organization came from the National Turkish Students Union. In 1984, the organization came into the public eye after the robbery of jewelry stores and markets, and one of its leaders, İrfan Çağrıcı, was captured after one of these robberies

Since ’91, some of Hizbullah’s militants have been trained by state security forces. According to some sources, some members of the organization were also trained in Iran. After this training, the organization started to make a name for itself with its bloody attacks against civilians.

After the September 12, 1980  coup d’état, the way was paved for communalization in Turkey. The plan to pave the way for the establishment of religious congregations was a prescription from the United States. This path was the Turkish-Islamic synthesis. The US planned to fight communism in third-world countries by creating a common identity among the people through religion. In 1986, President Kenan Evren and Prime Minister Turgut Özal declared this prescription as the official cultural policy of the state.

After the coup, the Turkish state used Islam to establish dominance over the Kurds in particular: “Kurds do not call themselves “Turks,  so we need to create the illusion of unity through ‘religion’ so that we can prevent the ‘enemies of religion’ who want equality and independence. For this purpose, many mosques were built in Kurdish provinces, and religious congregations were organized. Religious books are taught in village schools and the heads of government offices are appointed from religious groups. Education in prisons, especially Diyarbakır Prison, includes religious propaganda.

“Secular” State Allies with Islamists

Aydınlar Ocağı was established as the center of the Turkish-Islamic synthesis. The sect is anti-communist and pro-NATO. They attempt to establish ideological dominance with the slogan “Communists are separatists, Muslims protect their state”.

As part of this whole Turkish-Islamic synthesis concept, Hizbul-contra, which was active in the intimidation of the Kurdish people, carried out bloody massacres to eliminate “enemies of the state,” and “secularists”.

In Batman in 1992, almost every day someone was kidnapped or executed. They murdered people they targeted with methods that came to be recognized as signature of Hizbullah violence, such as execution with a single bullet in the back of the neck and knife wounds. The order to attack children distributing the Özgür Gündem newspaper with knives is also on the list of Hizbullah’s actions. Since Hizbullah’s place of organization is mosques, they go to mosque imams, ask for the keys to the mosque, and kill those who do not give them. Journalists, executives of the People’s Labor Party (HEP) and representatives of non-governmental organizations are targets of the organization.

One of the most common methods used by Hizbullah was kidnapping. They would torture the people they kidnapped by keeping them in the basements and bunkers of so-called cell houses. Those who stayed in the bunker could be in the hands of the organization for months or years. They were tied in chains and given only bread and water. Sometimes there were given neither food nor water for a week. During “interrogation” people would die as a result of severe torture. One of the organization’s signature torture methods was hog-tying people. During this torture, the person tied with ropes would eventually strangle himself to death. Gonca Kuriş was one of the victims who was kidnapped, tortured for 35 days, and then murdered by being hog-tied. Hizbullah never claimed responsibility for any of its massacres. People were tortured and videotaped for Velioğlu to watch.

Dissolution of the Organization

The “liquidation” of Hizbullah took place on January 17, 2000, when leader Hüseyin Velioğlu was killed in a raid on a cell house and his successors, Cemal Tutar and Edip Gümüş, were arrested. During the raid, 12,000 resumes of members of the organization were seized. These CVs detailed life stories that anyone who joined the organization had to write down. According to official figures, 3,000 members of the organization were arrested in Turkey. Many people who had an important place in the organization were not caught. Even the bodies of more than 30 people kidnapped by the organization, which caused the deaths of hundreds of people, have not been found.

After the organization was exposed, members who had been detained and released and those who had stayed outside returned to Batman and Diyarbakır. A few years later they founded the Mustazaflar Association. They claimed that they would engage in politics without weapons and that they were a kind of civil society organization. But the association was shut down by court order.

When 2012 came, this time a step was taken to make Hüda-Par a party, and it was founded accordingly. The party, which set out with the slogan “I am Muslim first and Kurdish second,” is now in parliament and claims in many of its publications that it has no ties with the Hizbullah organization. We see that the palace is taking steps to make the Kurdish provinces more conservative. There is no doubt that the enmity that has been sown between the Kurdish and Turkish peoples will be further increased and that the aim is to alienate Kurds from politics.

Misogynists and torturers, they are enemies of humanity who have found a place for themselves in the bourgeois parliament. Against this darkness, women, socialists, and all those who consider themselves progressive must fight for the right to life of the Kurdish and Turkish peoples and fight against the medieval mentality that this group seeks to spread.

[1] This Hizbullah party has no relation to the much more well-known Hezbollah group in Lebanon, Palestine, and Syria.

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