Dec 26, 2016
Here, we present the first part of an interview with Merve Arkun, Hüseyin & Özgür, members of Devrimci Anarşist Faaliyet, or DAF. DAF translates to Revolutionist Anarchist Action and is a network of overlapping collectives in Turkey. They are based out of Istanbul and run an office and two cafe’s, both called 26A, which is a meeting space and employer for collective members. This conversation was conducted on March 19, 2016, a few short hours after a DAESH (ISIS) bombing occurred in the Beyoğlu neighborhood of Istanbul, on the touristy street called İstiklal Avenue, just a few blocks from one of the collective’s cafe’s and their newspaper office.
The bomb killed 5 people (4 tourists plus the bomber), and
injured some 36 more. The tension in the city in the days before
the bombing was palpable as trucks of riot police roved around the
neighborhood, and embassies and foreign schools closed for security
reasons. The approaching Newroz celebrations, or Kurdish New Years,
were slated to take place a mere 2 days after this attack in the
contentious Taksim Gezi Park so recently after the resumption of
military and legal hostilities between Kurdish groups and aligned
leftists and the Turkish government headed by the AK Party of
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. This decision most certainly would
promise demonstrations and conflict
between security forces and civil society around the right to the contentious park, and against the war on the Kurds both in Syria and Turkey by Erdoğan’s government.
Besides the 26A cafes, DAF includes an Anarchist Women’s
collective, a publishing project in the form of the Meydan Gazette
(published monthly in paper form), and a youth collective, the
Lycee (or High School) Anarchist Federation called LAF. In addition
it organizes arts events and projects, and participates in labor
organizing and solidarity with Kurdish resistance and the Rojava
Revolution. DAF also organizes in tandem though autonomously with
anti-militarist and anti-conscription
activists in Turkey.
Merve is an active member of the Meydan Gazette publishing crew, the Anarchist Women’s collective and also in a seperate but related anti-militarist group. Hüseyin is a main editor of the Meydan Gazette and involved in the 26A cafes. Özgür is involved in Meydan & the self-defense program and the PATIKA ecological collective.
Throughout this first hour: Merve, Hüseyin & Özgür talk about the collectivized economic and living structures of DAF and how that pans out to support collective members and build collectivized models for survival within and against capitalism.
To see an article (in Turkish) about Esra Ankan, you can visit the Meydan Gazette’s article here: Trans Tutsak Esra’yla Dayanışmaya