Social History Research Foundation of Turkey – TÜSTAV was founded in 1992 by the decision and works of the General Board of Directors of the United Communist Party of Turkey (TBKP) which is constituted of Workers Party of Turkey and Communist Party of Turkey (TKP) pursuant to the framework of the decision taken at the First Principal Congress of TBKP. Nabi Yağcı, Ahmet Kardam and Abdurrahman Atalay became the founders of the Foundation.
The first period of foundational work between April 1992-December 1998 could be summarized as follows:
- Retrieving the documents on the Communist Party of Turkey and its action among the Comintern archives at the RGASPI (Russian State Archive for Social and Political History).
Providing archival materials called the Duisburg Archive of the Communist Party of Turkey as well as publications and library of TKP.
Collecting publications in the press on TKP.
Within the framework of a cooperation agreement concluded with the International Institute of Social History (Netherlands) in this regard:
About 37 thousand documents on the actions of the Communist Party of Turkey among the Comitern archives at the RGASPI, which could be retrieved then, were microfilmed and printed out. A copy of the microfilms was brought to Turkey and an international symposium named A Look Back in History and/or Sources of History was held on the 10-11 of March 1995. The statements made during this symposium were published as a book in 2000.
The archive documents kept Duisburg were transferred to IISH. This collection, which is 25 shelf meters long, has been classified.
Press clippings on the United Communist Party of Turkey were copied, bounded as 25 volumes and provided to the service of the researches.
In January 1998, General Board of Directors of the Foundation called everyone who said “This history belongs to me as well” to participate in the works of the Foundation as founding members. During the works performed in line with this invitation, circles and persons who were the subject of this history joined the works of the Foundation and a new Board of Trustees and Board of Directors took office in the General Assembly on 13.12.1998. Articles of Foundation which had remained in force until the change made due to the legal obligation in 2005.
In the new working period of our Foundation (December 1998-2001)
The Comitern archive fund in our Foundation was transferred to digital media, its printout was issued and offered to the researches use in the later 1999. In this archive fund, copies of some deficiencies determined under the titles of East Secretariat, Personal Files and KUTV were obtained from RGASPI and the fund was enriched. On the other hand, transcriptions of some documents in this archive from Ottoman to new Turkish or translation of them from foreign languages to Turkish started. After the works on some documents were completed, they were published into a book through TÜSTAV Publicationssince 2002 and Social History Publications since 2007.
- The printout of the Duisburg archive fund was published in 2000 and the broadcast content and all the sustaining programs of TKP’nin Sesi Radyosu (Voice of the TKP Radio) were copied and brought to Turkey.
- TÜSTAV/TKP Archive Fund started to be pooled with the endowments of Veysi Sarıözen, Benderli-Togay, Ülkü Gürkan-Schneider.
- TÜSTAV/TKP Archive Fund was pooled with the endowments.
- Archive funds from Behice Boran, Nihat Sargın, İnci İşbulur, Kemal Sülker, Nebil Varuy was classified and put into the use of the researches. In addition, they became a very important source for the studies on Turkish Labor Party (TİP), together with the archive funds from Alev Ateş and Uğur Cankoçak which are being classified. The parliamentary studies of TİP published as 5 volumes under the name TİP Parlamentoda(TIP In Parliament) and was completed with the 40th year symposium of TİP’s being elected to the parliament.
- After the press collection named Basında TBKP (TBKP in press) was published, archive documents about the activities of TBKP were collected, classified and put into the use of the researches. In 2007, the 20th Anniversary of Behice Boran’s death and the return of Kutlu and Sargın, a significant part of TBKP documents were digitalized, put into use on the internet and analysis of the symposium were published.
- Foundation works were given an insight to embrace labor and left movement in Turkey during the period, considering that the purpose of TÜSTAV’s foundation was to collect, put into use and publish all the written, verbal, visual, audio materials and archive documents and museum materials about TKP, TİP and TBKP. This approach was stated in the decree no. 1 issued by the Board of Trustees in May 2006: “The history of TKP, TİP and TBKP cannot be separated from the history of labor and the leftist movement in Turkey. Within this framework, TÜSTAV will continue collecting and evaluating the materials and documents of the labor and left movement to the best of its facilities while trying to realize the purpose of its foundation.
- TÜSTAV is very attentive to the collection of political case files, which are of great importance for the communist, labor and left movement in our country. A group of case files, which were from the Aegean region intensive, were granted to TÜSTAV byAtt. Güney Dinç, Att. Metin Cengiz and Att. Fehmi Çam from İzmir, then by Att. Kasım Sönmez, the former bar president of İzmir. The case files of the Birlik Law Firm, which was the center of the case files belonging to the period (1971) 12 March and (1980) 12 September, were granted to our archive by Att. Bahri Bayram Belen,Att. Ergin Cinmen and the case files from TKP Thrace were granted by Att. Bülent Utku and the case files from TKP Ankara granted by Att. Hasan Ürel. In addition to the case files belonging to the period of TİP, the case files of People’s Liberation Party-Front of Turkey (THKP-C), People’s Liberation Army of Turkey (THKO),Communist Party of Turkey Marxist-Leninist (TKPML)–Workers’ and Peasant’ Liberation Army of Turkey (TİKKO) have an important place in the archive fund ofAtt. Nebil Varuy. The classification of these files were completed and put into use of the researches.
- The archive documents of Mine Workers Union of Turkey which the United Metalworkers’ Union of Turkey took over and minutes books about the strikes of MESS (Metal
Industrialists’ Union) were classified and copied by our foundation. The subject of DİSK’s archive was concluded through a protocol signed in September 2005. The right of use of the archives from DİSK (Confederation of Progressive Trade Union) and its unions adherent were granted to TÜSTAV. The ARCHIVE FUND OF TÜSTAV DİSK was classified and put into the use of the researches in 13 February 2007, the 40th year of the DİSK’s foundation. Cataloging of the archives of unions adherent such as Rubber Industry Workers and Food Workers.
- The archive including the documents about the action “One Minute of Darkness for Constant Brightness” that appeared on written and audio-visual press, which started after the accident that had gone down as Susurluk Incident into the political history of our country, was granted to our Foundation by Att. Mebuse Tekay.
- TÜSTAV also conducted studies on the archives that are abroad about the communist, labor and left movement in Turkey within this period. The studies on the Bulgarian State Archives which started in October 2000 were completed in September 2002. The copies of the documents with more than 1000 pages were transferred to TÜSTAV archives. Within the same period, some individual effects of İ. Bilen, sound recording of the opening speech in 5th congress, photographs, posters and files were granted and transferred to our archives by Miroslav Dırmov, his wife. In addition, the documents, periodicals, posters and films about the activities TKP, TİP, ATTF (Federation of Turkish Socialist in Europe), TDF (Federation of Democratic Clubs of Workers from Turkey, FTİB (Association of Turkish Workers in France), French-Turkish Friendship Society, TBÖK (Turkish Peace And Freedom Committee), Committee of Unlimited General Amnesty, FİDEF (Federation of Turkish Workers Associations in West Germany), GDF (The Federation of Migrants’ Association) and the archive documents from ASBP (Socialist Unity Party of German) were granted to TÜSTAV by Kenan Öztürk, Enis Coşkun, Nejat Firuzkuhi, Veysi Sarıözen, Kemal Kıran, Hamdi Maskar, Ülkü Gürkan – Scheinder, Ursula Schumm- Garling, Anjel Açıkgöz, Gün Benderli-Togay, Meliné and Kristina Pehlivanian, Taci Karan, Bilal Şen, Svetlana Nuri-Şen, Hasan Güneri, Jordanka Erdinç, Mehmet Ayas, Ahmet Güven, Ahmet Tüzün, Tacettin Dağcı, Engin Erkiner and Murat Alp and the documents about the FKP (Communist Party of France)-TKP relations were granted by Roger Trugnan (one of the International Relations Secretaries of FKP).
- TÜSTAV is also trying to collect and put the audible and visual archive materials, together with the written documentary materials, into service by classifying them. Thephonotheques transferred to the digital media are in the use on the web page of TÜSTAV.
- TÜSTAV put an extensive Library of Periodicals, which includes tens of periodicals the collections of which are elusive into the service of the researches. Some of the periodicals which were transferred the digital media are accessible on the web page of TÜSTAV.
- TÜSTAV established a Research Library through the grants related to the communist, workers and left movement. This improving library is also in the use of the researches.
- Commercial Enterprise of TÜSTAV started publication in line with its purpose of “collecting, putting into use and publishing all the written, verbal, visual, audio materials and archive documents and museum materials about TKP, TİP and TBKP” and this activity has been continuing for 9 years for the time being through the pace of publishing one book per month. It gave priority to contribute to the bright future of our country, conveying the documents, memoirs and researches related to the communists, workers and left movement in our country to the people who are fond of history through the brands TÜSTAV Yayınları, Sosyal Tarih Yayınları, Sarı Defter. It is clear that TÜSTAV maintains in its publications the understanding of reflecting the history “as it is” which it adopted in its works. Nearly 100 books have been published so far.
- In addition to holding conferences, panels and symposiums with some universities and think-tanks, TÜSTAV published the book named BEHİCE BORAN Yazılar-Konuşmalar-Söyleşiler-Savunmalar as 3 volumes within the framework of the centenary celebration of the birth of Behice Boran.
TÜSTAV conducted all these activities with the contribution and attendance of its members and friends most of whom are also the subject of this history. It maintains its existence through these collective efforts and sacrifices.