Mehmet Karasungur - Halil Cavgun

Creator of the initiative known as Hilvan Siverek resistance, which has an important place in the history of PKK.

"We realised that we were face to face with a war that we were not at all ready for it when Haki was massacred. It was such a situation that the whole sky and ground opened up to pour death on us. Our movement could end that day, and we had to act responsibly...

18 years ago we neither had a single gun or any money to take revenge. We had no power in our hands other than our naked hearts, but we now have everything."Abdullah Ocalan

The Hilvan resistance that took place in rememberance of Halil Cavgun, who died exactly a year after the death of Haki Karer, accelerated the formation of the party just as the PKK took its first steps toward becoming a party thanks to Haki Karer. Mehmet Karasungur is also one of those who played a great role in the realisation of this history.

Mehmet Karasungur, who was one of the leaders of the Hilvan resistance, was born in 1947 as the 3rd child of a family with 12 children in Hasret village of Kigi district in Cewlik. He completed his education and became a teacher in great difficulties due to the poverty of his family.


The contradictions with the state had deepened during the years that he established the Cewlik Branch of TOB-DER (All Teachers' Unity and Solidarity Association). However, the most important factor that changed the direction of his life as a teacher was his aquaintance with Hayri Durmus, who was one of the founders of the PKK.


His brother Haydar Karasungur, who died in 1987 described in a letter the situation that took him to the Kurdish Liberation Struggle as follows: Karasungur, who was known as a disciplined organiser, greatly influenced Hilvan and Siverek were the first areas of his activities. Becoming prominent in a short time thanks to his leadership characteristics, Karasungur was chosen for membership of PKK Central Committee.


He went to Lebanon in 1980, and to Southern Kurdistan in 1982 with a historical mission. Karasungur became the leader that opened the roads to the mountains of Kurdistan for the guerrilla.


He became the first commander of the Kurdish resistance that would continue for decades. His basic duty was to form national unity and end the war among Kurds. He was massacred alongside his friend Ibrahim Bilgin on 2 May 1983 in the KDP camp of Kandil as a result of an assault perpetrated by YNK forces. The remains of Karasungur and Bilgin were moved to a cemetary after 18 years in 2001.

These swarthy youth, who had nothing but open hearts and love for their people, have created a fiery history. Kemal Pir had a perfect description for what they had in common. They all loved life enough to die for it. Life was beautiful. However, an honourable life was the most beautiful one; this was their philosophy, which guided Abdullah Ocalan and his friends when Haki Karar was massacred.


It has been decided to form a party without the prolonged dilemma of "shall we stop or continue." The PKK was organised in memory of Haki Karar. A handful of Apo followers were now carrying their ideas to masses of people, who started to recognise the PKK as a party. The PKK has been targeted by the state as well as some marginal organisations that claimed to be Kurdish or even socialist.

The feudal gangs in Kurdistan that acted as the extension of the state have also taken part in this front of assault. The most prominent one of these was Suleymans' Gang in Hilvan.

Halil Cavgun, a member of Central Committee working in the district, quickly earned the love of the  people who were living under feudal oppression. As the founder of Riha Yuksek Education Association, Cavgun, during his rise in Hilvan, had taken his place in the Kurdish Liberation Movement with the PKK without hesitation.


Suleymans', who interpreted the changes that the people went through as a threat, murdered Cavgun on 19 May 1978 while putting up posters of Haki Karer. The intention was to bring the PKK back to the point of 'stop or continue' exactly on the death anniversay of Haki Karer.

The PKK has taken a historical decision here as well. It shifted most experienced cadres Mehmet Karasungur and Kemal Pir  to the area of Hilvan, which laid the groundwork for Hilvan resistance, the repercussions of which still continue.

The resistance in which Mehmet Karasungur, Kemal Pir, Salih Kandal, and Cuma Tak took part was a first in Kurdistan. It was the first uprising and success of people against the feudatory. The weapons of the gang members have been confiscated and handed over to the people, the real owners of the municipality. This resistance laid the groundwork for a new social formation not only in Hilvan or Urfa but throughout Kurdistan.

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