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Abdullah Köktürk

Who Killed Mustafa Suphi?
Tarih: 11-02-2019 23:49:00 Güncelleme: 12-02-2019 00:13:00




Ayandon is the biggest storm which occurs every January 28th/29th in the Aegean and Black Sea region. During 1921 Ayandon storm, a mass murder was committed on the coast of Trabzon. Mustafa Suphi, first Chairman of the Central Committee of Communist Party of Turkey and his 14 comrades were slaughtered by Captain Yahya who was then the head of boatmen of Trabzon and his men. In this article, murders will be examined and it will also try to determine who is or who are responsible for the murders.


Mustafa Suphi was born in 1883 in Giresun. His father, Ali Rıza, had taken part in high ranks of the Ottoman Empire (in 1912 he was Konya Governor). Suphi completed his high education in Paris. He wrote for the newspapers such as Tanin and Servet-i Fünun. In 1910, he graduated from L’Ecole libre des Sciences Politiques. After his graduation, he returned to Istanbul and worked as a journalist and a teacher. In the meantime, first, he joined the Committee of Union and Progress, and then the opposition National Constitutional Monarchy Party. Suphi was sent on exile in Sinop, because of the Grand Vizier Mahmud Shevket Pasha's murder in 1913. Mustafa Suphi, who had Turkist ideas at the time, escaped to Crimea in 1914 and from there he came to Batumi. In 1915 he met with Marxist ideas in the Ural region where he lived. In 1919, Mustafa Suphi, who also participated in 3rd International (Comintern), made a speech here.       


Finally, Mustafa Suphi, founded the Communist Party of Turkey in Baku on September 10th, 1920. Against him, Ankara Government also established a Communist Party in October 1920. In Ankara's fake communist party, there were almost all pashas from Rafet Bele to İsmet İnönü, from Ali Fuat Cebesoy to Kazım Karabekir.


Mustafa Suphi and his comrades’ death walks started from Kars. Their first group came to Kars with Budi Mdivani who was then a Soviet Russia's ambassador to Ankara on December 28th, 1920. Their aim is to go to Ankara and meet with Mustafa Kemal. However, the correspondences between Mustafa Kemal and the commander of the Eastern Front, Kazım Karabekir, showed that Suphi and his companions were not welcomed to Ankara. Therefore, Kazim Karabekir had made a plan to send Suphi and his comrades to Trabzon via Erzurum and then to the Soviets. However, he convinced Suphi to go to Ankara via Erzurum.


Some opponents of Ankara government were unhappy the government's relationship with the Soviets. Moreover, the government was not as anti-communist as they wish. Getting rid of Mustafa Suphi and his comrades would have also persuaded the opposition.


On January 22nd, the Delegation arrived to Erzurum was met by provocation which was planned by the government. They couldn't get off the train with the reaction of the crowds, first they were sent to Karabıyık and then to Gumushane with sleds. On January 26th, the delegation to Gumushane arrived in Macka on January 27th. On December 28th, when the delegation arrived in Trabzon, provoked crowds were also ready. Since the delegation came to Kars, all events were reported to Ankara government daily by telegraph.[i]


When Suphi and his comrades arrived in Trabzon, they were welcomed with protesters arranged by the government. The group that was removed from the cars by beatings and insults was put into a motorboat by Yahya Kaptan and his friends. Suphi and his comrades were strangled and thrown on the sea 2-3 miles away from the harbor.


There was a much worse future waiting for Mustafa Suphi's Russian wife Maria who was not then taken into the motorboat. Maria was later abused by the Captain Yahya and his gang and used as a sex slave for months. Maria was then given to the Rize's gangs. Months later, Maria was raped and killed by Rize's gangsters on a night of pleasure.


The murderer Captain Yahya was known as the man of Enver Pasha. However, he was acting as a man receiving orders from Lame Osman. Osman later would have been also Mustafa Kemal's guard. Enver Pasha sent a letter from Moscow to his wife Naciye Sultan who was then in Berlin, on April 24th 1921. In his letter Enver Pasha referred that he was pleased with the murder.[ii]


1.5 months after the incident, on March 16th, 1921 the Moscow Treaty was signed between Ankara Government and the Soviet Union. According to Article 7 of Moscow Treaty, the governments will not allow the internal formations that threat each country. Persuant to the Treaty on this matter, on the second half of 1921 the Organization Bureau of the Communist Party of Turkey was abolished.


The massacres of Mustafa Suphi and his comrades were never protested by the Soviets and Lenin. The Moscow Government did not send a note or even a letter to Ankara to condemn the massacre. This means silent acceptance of the murder by the Soviets, although the murder was not welcomed by. Kazım Karabekir's role in the murder is very large and clear. Correspondences also reveal the role of Ankara government in this murder.


On June 30th, 1921 Mustafa Kemal sent a telegraph to Captain Yahya and “he thanked him for his patriotism”.[iii]


On July 3rd, 1922 Captain Yahya was a victim of unidentified murder. Mustafa Kemal's Commander of Battalion of Guardsmen Ismail Hakkı Tekçe explained in an interview after many years that he committed this murder with Lame Osman's men.[iv] Later, Lame Osman would also be killed in Ankara and there would be no witnesses on this issue.


As a result, Mustafa Suphi and his comrades were the victims of a multi-dimensional murder. There are some who claim that Ankara Government had no contact with these murders. Even if this claim is true, it is not possible for Mustafa Kemal and his government to argue that they were unaware of the pains the poor Maria endured.




[i] Emrah Cilasun, Mustafa Suphi ve Yoldaşlarını Kim Öldürdü?, İstanbul: Agora Kitaplığı, 2008.

[ii] Murat Bardakçı, Enver, İstanbul: İş Bankası Yayınları, Kasım 2015, s. 241.

[iii] Atatürk’ün Bütün Eserleri. Cilt. 11, İstanbul: Kaynak Yayınları, 2003, s. 220.

[iv] Günaydın, 4 Aralık 1977, aktaran Mete Tunçay, Türkiye’de Sol Akımlar, İstanbul BDS Yayınları, s. 154.

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