Hikmet Kıvılcımlı Papers

Biographical Note

Hikmet Kıvılcımlı was born in 1902, Pristina, Kosovo, within the borders of the Ottoman Empire. He visited highschool at Vefa Lisesi and studied medicine as a military student.

In the early twenties he entered the Türkiye Komünist Partisi (TKP). His first political essays were published in Menteşe, and Aydınlık. Kıvılcımlı translated also many publications of Karl Marx and published them as pamphlets of the 'Marksizm Bibliyotegi' (Library of Marxism), a publishing house of his own. Imprisoned several times (1925, 1927, 1929, 1934, 1938-1950), he spent twenty years of his life in prison. The last term was due to the Navy Cadets Trial of 1938 in which he was sentenced together with Nazım Hikmet.

Critical of the party policy, he distanced himself from the TKP. In 1954 he founded the Vatan Partisi. Later, in 1965, he established the 'Tarihsel Maddecilik Yayınları', a publishing house which published his own works. In 1967 he was the founder of the 'İşsizlik ve Pahallılıkla Mücadele Derneği' (İPSD) and also of the periodical Sosyalist.

Because of a warrant of arrest by the military regime after the coup in 1971 he left the country by a fishing-boat.

At first he went to Cyprus, than over Syria he reached Yugoslavia. Already severely ill before he left Turkey, he died in Beograd in 1971.

All through his life he wrote, translated and noted down on virtually every piece of paper within his reach. His best known work is 'Tarih Tezi', his magnum opus, written in 1965. He translated a substantial part of 'das Kapital' into Turkish. Other important works are: 'Yol: TKP'nin Eleştirel Tarihi' (the Way: critical history of the Communist Party of Turkey), containing a series of texts, already written for the Central Committee of the TKP in 1932, and posthumously published by F. Fegan in 1982; 'Türkiye İşçi Sınıfının Sosyal Varlığı' (the Social Existence of the Turkish Working Class) 1935; 'Kim suçlamış? Brejnev'e mektup' (who accused? Letter to Brezhnev) 1971, 1979 and a many articles in Menteşe, Aydınlık, Sosyalist, Türk Solu, and Ant. After his death Kıvılcımlı's political inheritance was administrated by Fuat Fegan.

The papers

The papers of Dr. Hikmet Kıvılcımlı consist of manuscripts of published (or unpublished) political and literary works, essays and articles. Furthermore his papers contain some correspondence, private notes, documents relating to his medical practice and his political activities.

The papers contain also documents of the Yapı İşçileri Sendikası (YİS), including documents of İsmet Demir, its chairman, and his memoirs.

In 1971, threatened by the Junta, the papers were stuffed into packs by H. Kıvılcımlı and handed over to his comrade-friend Fuat Fegan. Fled to Sweden, he arranged the papers in view of his intended bibliography of Hikmet Kıvılcımlı. In 1992 the papers were handed over to the institute by Latife Fegan.

Fuat Fegan's aim was to collect everything that Kıvılcımlı had said and written. His system of arranging has been based on this consideration. He also planned to conclude the work with a bibliography of Kıvılcımlı together with a detailed inventory of his papers. After eleven years of labor he completed most of the work. The bibliography was published. The inventory was more or less ready for printing. However, to his discontent it proved to be impossible to collect all the documents he was looking for, despite all his efforts. So he chose to substitute this kind of documents with their copies. In other cases, where no originals or copies were available, he contented himself with notes. According to his explanation there are two main reasons for the absence of these actually known but non existent documents.

1.Under the threat of the 1971 Junta, H. Kıvılcımlı himself did destroy some of the most important manuscripts, for example: 'Halk Savaşının Planları';

2.It was not possible to collect the scripts of oral material, for example: the speech delivered on Kerim Soyka's grave and the speech for the Congress of the Demokratik Devrim Derneği.

These kind of documents though physically not in existence as script are mentioned both in the bibliography and the inventory.

Fuat Fegan has arranged the papers of Dr. Hikmet Kıvılcımlı in five different sub-archives:

1.Dr. Hikmet Kıvılcımlı's Papers: Hikmet Kıvılcımlı's own words, deeds, manuscripts and various notes;

2.Archive of Dr. Hikmet Kıvılcımlı's Papers: Fuat Fegan's detailed administration of the arranging process;

3.Archive of Yapı-İş and İsmet Demir: Documents relating to Yapı-İş ( the Construction Workers Union);

4.Archive of the Vatan Partisi: Mainly printed documents relating to the second foundation of the Vatan Partisi after the death of Hikmet Kıvılcımlı;

5. Fuat Fegan's Papers: Documents of Fuat Fegan relating to his activities and some documentation. The arrangement by Fuat Fegan was made in view of his intended bibliography of Kıvılcımlı. As a concequence there was no arrangement according to Kıvılcımlı's activities, which made it difficult to understand the coherence of the documents. Therefore it was decided to rearrange the papers, although careful considerations were taken not to disturb the separate units, as composed by Fuat Fegan. But where in the original inventory some of the related documents were in some cases placed in different descriptions, in the new inventory these are brought together in one description. Moreover in the new inventory all documents are completely listed in one, instead of one for each of the five sub-archives. Under separate headings documents have been arranged in chronological order. Fuat Fean added many notes and attached them to the original documents. In the newly made descriptions, only the date of the Kıvılcımlı-documents is given. The notes made by Fuat Fegan are not dated in the inventory, but most of these notes contain a date themselves, as given by F. Fegan. They are all from the period 1971-1982. Audiovisual documents including the microfilms of the documents and the Kıvılcımlı photography are stored in the Audio-visual department of the IISG. Books, pamphlets and periodicals are transferred in the Library.

Hikmet Kıvılcımlı, all through his life made thousands of notes on every sort of paper he could find. Some of these were preparatory work. Fuat Fegan, during his eleven years of arranging has systematised all notes which were meant for publication. He left the rest of the notes undescribed. These are to be found under 'various' in the new inventory (see inv.nr. 165-192), however in chronological order as far as possible.

In order to optimize the correlation between the old and the new arrangement there is a concordance added to the papers (inv.no. 366). This handy convenience is introduced also for microfilm usage, because the microfisches were made according to the old inventory. It should be noticed here that these microfiches cover only a part of the papers.

The size of the Dr. Hikmet Kıvılcımlı papers, excluding the audiovisual and printed material, is 4.12 metres.