The documentary “Alnında Kılıç Yarası – Armenak” (Sword Wound on his Forehead – Armenak) about Orhan Bakır, who took the nom de guerre Armenak and served as a cadre of the TKP/ML, continues to be screened across Europe from March to May.
We strongly recommend to all who have the possibility to attend the screenings. Hence, we publish the following review from demvolkedienen.org.
“He was a man of the people” – this is what one of the contemporary witnesses says about Comrade Armenak Bakır. It is a statement, a fact that is confirmed over and over again in the documentary Alnında Kılıç Yarası/Armenak. It is what his comrades say about him, his companions, his family and the masses who knew him. But Comrade Armenak Bakır was not only a man of the people, he was a fighter, a leader of the people, a true revolutionary who gave his whole life for the party and the revolution and became immortal in this struggle.
The period in which Armenak Bakır grew up as a comrade of Armenian origin was marked by Turkish chauvinism, which culminated in the genocide against the Armenians, in which hundreds of thousands of Armenians were killed. He grew up as a member of an oppressed nationality and, as the film shows, it was this oppression that shaped and molded him from a young age. But it did not shape him into a submissive who surrendered to oppression; it shaped him into the fighter, the revolutionary, the leader that he became. Anger became rebellion and rebellion became organization – as it is said in the film.
Early, in his school years, he became organized, participated in uprisings, always in close contact with the masses who appreciated and loved him. In the film, many different people have their say – comrades, contemporary witnesses, companions, family and masses – all of whom emphasized that Comrade Armenak Bakır was someone who always received the trust and great appreciation from his comrades and the masses. This was certainly one of the most important qualities that distinguished the comrade as a fighter of the Communist Party of Turkey / Marxist-Leninist (TKP/ML). This is how the comrades tell in the film, about his calm nature, about his burning revolutionary heart, about his constant devotion in agitation with which he inspired, moved and organized so many. With all these qualities, he had a special influence on masses of Armenian origin that he was able to organize in the ranks of the proletarian party.
But the film shows that it was not only this that made Comrade Armenak Bakır. It shows that the comrade was not only an agitator and organizer. He was a constant defender of the armed struggle, a comrade who always followed İbrahim Kaypakkaya’s example. He was a comrade who did not capitulate to the horrors that the people’s war can bring, but always stuck to carrying on the struggle. Even when Comrade Armenak Bakır himself was imprisoned and bestially tortured, capitulation was never an option. The importance he had for the party is impressively recounted by the comrades who were given the floor in the movie. They tell about the successful liberation operation, in which the lives of many militants of the party were put at risk to free the comrade and bring him back to the party.
From that moment on, Comrade Armenak Bakır lived under constant fire from the reactionary Turkish State. All Turkish newspapers reported about the liberation of the comrade, who was searched for by all means and ways. But after a long escape that took him to Dersim, it was no longer necessary to keep the comrade hidden, because the villagers, the peasants, the masses stood by Comrade Armenak Bakır’s side.
Until his death, he was a champion of this revolutionary stand. For as the comrades in the film report, Armenak Bakır was part of a punishment action against a police commissioner on his own initiative, in which fell and thus became immortal. He was part of this action out of conviction because he was a communist.
His deep connection to the masses is once again particularly evident after his death. The reactionary Turkish state did its utmost to prevent a tomb from being built for the comrade, which would allow commemorating the comrade and what he embodied. Therefore, the Turkish state did not hand over the body to the comrade’s family, but buried it in a secret place. However, neither the party nor Comrade Armenak Bakır’s family was deterred from searching and finding his body in order to build a grave for him that was worthy of him and on which the red flag was flying. It was a grave in a village whose inhabitants appreciated Armenak Bakır’s revolutionary spirit and defended him to the death. That place where he was buried was repeatedly raided and desecrated by the military. However, the villagers allowed themselves to be beaten and tortured in order to defend the place where the comrade who gave so much for them is buried.
It is especially the comrades’ accounts of this time that bring the documentary to life. They tell stories that must seem adventurous to most comrades here in the FRG, but above all they show what the everyday life of the revolutionary struggle means. They are accounts that should motivate and encourage anyone who harbors even a spark of sympathy for the revolution. It is not simply stories, but facts that the documentary Alnında Kılıç Yarası/Armenak reproduces. It is the attitude, the point of view, the ideology that we must adopt and embody when we commemorate comrades like Armenak Bakır and many other martyrs who gave their lives for the revolution all over the world.
Everyone who has the opportunity to attend the screenings of the documentary and watch the film should do so. The film will be shown by Partizan in different cities in Europe until mid-May.
The upcoming dates are:
14/04/2023 14:00h Schwabenstr. 41, 89231 Neu-Ulm
15/04/2023 17:00h Martin Pichlerstraße 21A, 6300 Worgl
15/04/2023 17:30h 4 rue de la Catalogne, 44240 La Chapelle-sur-Erdre / Nantes
15/04/2023 18:00h Quai de la VESDRE 41, 4800 Verviers
16/04/2023 14:00h Stauffacherstraße 60, 8004 Zürich
16/04/2023 15:00h Anichstraße 36, 6020 Insbruck
23/04/2023 13:30h Wimpassing Kino, Ternitz
23/04/2023 14:30h Grotekerkplein5, 3011 GC Rotterdam
23/04/2023 15:00h Swiezerstr. 3, 6844 Altach
24/04/2023 18:30h Burgasse 119, 1070 Wien
29/04/2023 16:00h 10 Rue de l’Ardéch, 67000 Strasbourg
30/04/2023 15:00h Philipp-Koerber-Weg 1, 90439 Nürnberg
13/05/2023 20:00h Imperiastraat 14, 1930 Zaventem-Brüksel