Iraqi Turkmens commemorate the memory of their leaders who were martyred on 16th January 1980

January 15, 2011 at 8:28 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment

We commemorate the memory of our leaders who were martyred on 16 January 1980


We commemorate the memory of our Turkmen Leaders who were martyred on 16 January  
16 January 1980 has an important place in the history of the struggle of the Iraqi Turkmen. As we know, on that day important Iraqi Turkmen persons were executed and the Turkmen community was drowned in a tide of sorrow. Important personalities such as Retired Colonel Abdullah Abdurrahman who was the head of Turkmen Brotherhood Center in Baghdad for many years, Assistant Professor Dr. Necdet Koçak who was a valuable man of science, and who raised hundreds of students and provided important services to the community and Adil Şerif, a businessman much loved by the people were executed on that day.

We do not know the day when the esteemed scientist Dr. Rıza Demirci passed away. Although he was arrested with the others, he probably could not withstand the inhuman tortures and was martyred. For this reason we accept that the four comrades shared the same fate and were martyred on the same day.

Once again we commemorate these distinguished people who were martyred on their mission. It is our duty to continue on the path they paved and pass their stories from generation to generation.
In spite of the all negative aspects experienced, the Turkmen did not choose to give up their duties. Today our youth march along the path paved by our martyrs. A generation living their identities and personalities welcoming tomorrow with hope is being brought up. The Iraqi Turkmen shall remain loyal to holy heritage trusted by their forebears at all costs.   
We commemorate the memory of our Martyred Leaders

Martyr Abdullah Abdurrahman

Abdullah Abdurrahman was born in Kirkuk in 1913. After completing his education in his hometown he went to Baghdad. In Baghdad he entered Baghdad War Academy. After completing his education at the War Academy he joined a national movement against the English in 1941. In 1948 he joins the great Turkish General Mustafa Ragıp and Ömer Ali Paşa to successfully liberate Palestine. After the revolution against monarchy in Iraq in 1958 he becomes Deputy Commander of Kirkuk Second Division.
On 19 July 1959 after escaping the Kirkuk Massacre he went to Baghdad and met with General Abdulkerim Kasım Head of Revolutionary Command Council responsible for the revolution at the time in Iraq and debriefed him about the incidents in Kirkuk. After the debriefing, General Kasım dispatches an army to Kirkuk. Thus he saves Kirkuk from yet another major massacre and disaster. Colonel Abdullah Abdurrahman retired to become head of Turkmen Brotherhood Center which was established in 1960 during 1964-1973 and 1973-1976. While being the head of this organization he and his colleagues visited Turkmen villages, towns and cities and were closely involved with the issues of the Turkmen. He was involved in all kinds of humane efforts.

Colonel Abdullah Abdurrahman was a nationalist, courageous, brave and loved his homeland. As a result of the annihilation policy implemented against Iraqi Turks by the Baas Party while the Colonel was head of the Brotherhood Center in 1976, he was ousted by the regime from the Brotherhood Center. In 1979 he was arrested. Only a couple of hours after saying “I am sure you will carry this flag with honor. Never stray from the path of righteousness and Allah. Entrust yourselves to Allah” he was martyred with his comrades when they were executed together.

Although he was over 65 years of age he was executed and reached the status of martyr on 16 January 1980.  

Martyr Necdet Koçak

Necdet Koçak was born in Kirkuk on 07.04.1939. His father was Nurettin Ali Tevfi who was a Turkmen teacher. Necdet completed his primary, secondary and high school education in Kirkuk. In 1958 he entered the Faculty of Agriculture of the University of Ankara. In 1962 he graduated from the faculty as an agricultural engineer ( and returned to Kirkuk and worked in the Agricultural Equipment Directorate affiliated with the Ministry of Agriculture during the years 1962-64 In 1964 he returned to Turkey once again and completed his Master’s Degree in the Faculty of Agriculture of Ankara University. He completed his doctorate degree in the same university in 1969. Later he returned to Iraq and started to work as teaching staff at the Faculty of Engineering of Baghdad University. He became assistant professor in 1976 and later presented his professorial thesis.

On 22.03.1979 he was attributed with the crime of Turkism and arrested. He was executed by the Saddam regime in Baghdad on 16 January 1980 and became a martyr.

Necdet Koçak started working for the national cause during his secondary and high school years. For instance he worked and headed the secret youth organization established by Turkmen leader Ata Hayrullah who was martyred in the Kirkuk Massacre of 1959.
Necdet Koçak was a leader and a man with a cause in the full meaning of the word. He had reached the summit in human values and was extremely devoted to his people and his religion.  He devoted his life without a second thought to the protection of the national identity of Iraqi Turks and fought for the legal political, cultural rights of Iraqi Turks. He was a true intellectual who practiced what he preached.
An article titled “The Great Martyr of the Iraqi Turks, Necdet Koçak” prepared by Assist.Prof. Dr. Ekrem Pamukçu and published in the Kirkuk Magazine years ago read like this;

As narrated by his precious wife Ayten Koçak, Saddam’s men came to the house at a late hour on 15th January 1980. They inform her that she may visit Necdet Koçak, the husband, in the prison the next day. The next day she goes to the prison known as “Ebu Garip” in the vicinity of Baghdad. On entering, Necdet Koçak, Colonel Abdullah Abdurrahman and Adil Şerif can be seen in three adjacent iron cells which can barely contain one human being extremely exhausted and tired from months of inhumane torture. Colonel Abdullah Abdurrahman had diabetes, he had gone blind because he was not provided with his medicine and was in severe pain. The flesh of all three were cut and bruised.

In the last few hours before his execution Necdet Koçak spoke to the numerous comrades who had not forsaken him and his family in his final hours;

“Comrades, the more a tree is pruned, the greener it turns. What I ask of you is do not abandon the cause and to continue. I am more at peace now than I have ever been. I go to Allah with peace in my heart. I am handing over the banner to you. I am sure you will bear it with honor. Never stray from the path of righteousness and Allah. Entrust yourselves to Allah.”

A few hours after this very short speech he was executed with the rest of his comrades.

Martyr Adil Şerif

was born in Kirkuk in 1928. He completes his elementary education in Kirkuk. After elementary school he enters the world of business. He was very successful in his business life. He shares the success of his business life with the national cause. For the sake of the cause he is willing to work hard and make both material and spiritual sacrifices. He is one of the important personalities raised in Kirkuk. He has not hesitated to spend all material and spiritual opportunities on behalf of his nation. He was well respected and loved and people listened to him. He was much loved and respected by the people as he grew up among them. 

He served his people by heading the combat teams which had been established to get revenge for the massacre in 1959. Afterwards he settles down in Baghdad. In the meantime he continues to support the national cause any way he can. In March 1979 he is arrested and on 16 January 1980 he is executed together with his comrades and reaches the status of martyr.

Martyr Rıza Demirci

Rıza Demirci was born in Kirkuk in 1928. He completes his elementary, secondary and high school education here. He graduates from Kirkuk High School. After graduating from high school he comes to Turkey and starts his studies in the Faculty of Forestry in Istanbul University. He graduates from the Faculty of Forestry in 1951. The year he graduates he returns to Iraq to establish the Arbil and Kirkuk Regional Directorates of Forestry. After this he returns to Turkey to complete his doctorate these in the Packaging Department of the Faculty of Forestry of Istanbul University in 1959. After returning to Baghdad he is appointed to Baghdad General Directorate of Forestry Technical Works Department Directorate and subsequently Deputy General Director.

Dr. Rıza Demirci is one of the founding members of Turkmen Brotherhood Center which was established on 07.05.1960 in Baghdad. He was one of the most active members of the Turkmen Brotherhood Center. He executed some very successful works within the Brotherhood. One of the major ones was the opening and managing of a student residence within the Brotherhood Center. As a result, hundreds of Turkish students were able to carry out their studies in the best way possible. In addition, the publication of Brotherhood Journal spent a great deal of effort in carrying out both geographical and historical research about Iraqi Turks and in determining the settlement areas of the Turkish population in Iraq.
Dr. Rıza Demirci contributed a great deal to the forestry expertise in Iraq and proved himself to be a successful scientist. In addition his personality consisted of attributes such as his superior sense of nationalism, modesty, philanthropy, holding the national cause above all else, devoted to his duty as well as courage.

On March 1979 he was arrested together with his comrades and executed on 16 January 1980. However, so far his remains have not been submitted nor has the execution been confirmed.


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