Two great revolutionaries: Atakan Mahîr

Atakan Mahîr – “Voice of my heart”

For the first anniversary of the death of Atakan Mahîr and Mam Zekî Şengalî we want to commemorate these two great revolutionaries. They are great examples for us in seeking a free and revolutionary life. We will never forget them and we will give everything to make their dreams come true.

Atakan Mahîr, born 1974 in Elbîstan, joined Gerilla in Dersîm in 1993 and spent 25 years as a valuable militant in the PKK. He fought, led, produced, agitated, wrote and loved land, people and nature. He has written war history, as much as he has written he has fought, as much as he has fought he has told. One year ago on 11.08.2018 he fell in Dersîm. To write something about a human, a revolutionary like Atakan Mahîr, who some also call Gerilla of the age of the space travel or Derwêş of Dersîm is very difficult and never sufficient. Therefore we want to let him speak for himself in the following with some of his words to his beloved Dersîm, one of his poems and an excerpt from a letter about “Killing the Man”.

Atakan Mahîr to Dersîm:

“They say there are some words from Seyîd Riza, but probably it comes from someone from the Demenan tribe who said after the martyrdom of his son: “We have lost the key to the mountains”. Can we ever give up 3000 dead? Can we ever give up the memory of these friends? Can we ever give up our people? Can we ever give up this geography? So the oaks would grow every day, every year without us. I have years of memories, the Mûnzûr flows under me, at least we can’t give it up…”



Voice of my heart

When one day

I fall, long swing

You have no scruples about my corpse

the war cry

bend down and kiss me.


How dry soil thirsts for water

tenderly as the mother stretches her hand towards the cradle

how the believing hand touches the icon

full of longing like the raindrop in the fall over the earth;

like a lover.


Suppose I were a Roma child.

like a mended bundle on the mother’s back.

half naked, driven out, on a journey.

In the hand a piece of bread

just pulled out of the trash

Hands and face full of dirt

Never clean, full of longing for water

in my heart

a void.


Suppose I was a colony child.

in a great plain


slightly bent, slightly offended,

somewhat rebellious and again in the heart

a void.


Suppose I was so terribly lonely.

needed a hug.

bend over me and kiss me.


My body does not smell of roses either

like the empty ones


burned villages of Kurdistan

without children’s footprints

of ashes

forgotten on the sides of war


I’m not wrapped in white silk either

in simple, naked nature

fallen for example

during the war

of my body remained you

my heart, my thought

my body like a spring leaf


a piece of face.


Have you no shyness

then bend over and kiss me.

but don’t cry.


Put your weapon on my head.

clench your fist in my fist.

the shine in my eye your way

my eternal peace, your hope of victory.


Say, a leaf fell from the oak tree

you record it, you smell it

maybe you’ll shudder

That’s what it takes, comrade!


Do not forget,

not in the age of the Messiah

in the age of space travel, we are guerrillas

neither lived Spartacus as we do

nor did Ché fight like us.


Of course, our bodies are the price

for the glad tidings of a blue sky


That’s what they’re for, comrade!


The reach for the sun is not only near

we’ve finally seized her

our finally the dawn

our song sounds long

the mountains dance in circles

our children like a mad wind



From villages sounds the crowing of the cock

the colors of our flag are tinting the clouds

not the rainbow spans Kurdistan

the new life is it

Yours is freedom, comrade!


Şehîd Atakan Mahir, killed on 11 August 2018 in Dêrsim

(translated from Turkish)

Heval Atakan Mahir‘s letter about „killing the Man“

“Man hasn’t been brought up in a free environment in our society, and so his personality is unstable and weak – what is reflected in his struggle for freedom, which he doesn’t regard as his main goal. In addition he uses the concept of freedom as a disguise, rather than as a culture which is reflected throughout the practices of his everyday life. When, among ourselves, we debate how far masculinity dominates our personalities, we decide that if we can’t practice [masculinity] in our tasks within the liberation movement, then we must find other ways elsewhere to practice it. This shows how male sovereignty both embarrasses men, and yet always offers them a safe haven. Every man who claims to respect women still has some point where he puts limits on them. This is because of how deep rooted male dominance is as a culture in his personality, stopping him from really being able to follow through on his claims.

Man defines both genders as opponents of each other, and regards woman simply as someone who isn’t a male. Likewise, a man is someone who is not female. In this state of antagonism both genders eliminate rather than complement each other. It means that constructing personal identity for one gender has consequences, even causing damage in the other’s personal identity. It’s known that the male personal identity has been shaped over a long time, and so prevails in such conflict. But men are unable to establish deep fellowship and comradeship among themselves. They neither reveal their sufferings nor they are open towards each other. They always put limits among themselves. Moreover, men often identify themselves with physical strength. Is it a demonstration of strength to show how they fulfill all tasks and bear heavy burdens? To show how potent they are in sexual relationships? Thinking this way means that they always need to prove themselves in front of someone.”

(translated from Turkish)


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