Önder Isleyen, vice chairperson of the Freedom and Solidarity Party (ÖDP) said in a statement: "The Maras massacre caused great pain. And just as importantly, the process which started with the massace started the open fascism of Turkey's 12 September [military coup in 1980]."
"Just as people were attacked in Maras for being Alevi, now people's doors are being marked, their workplaces looted for being Kurdish, and campaigns to stop people from buying from Kurds are being started."
"As long as Turkey does not face up to these massacres, there can be no real democratisation in the country. Remembering Maras today means to stand against the darkness this country is being dragged into, against those wanting to create new Maras incidents, and to stand for peace, brotherhood and peaceful coexistence."
Incitement to hatred
Turan Eser, president of the Alevi Bektasi Federation, spoke at the 29th anniversary of the massacre in Maras, in which at least 111 people were killed, most of them Alevi. He claimed that before the events, "counter guerrilla and racist paramilitary imperialist henchmen made efforts to spread the seeds of hatred between those who were citizens of the same country and had lived together in peace for centuries."
The federation added that those responsible for the massacre, witnessed by the world, were never adequately punished and that governments have avoided facing up to this responsibility.
Witnesses to the massacreSeyho Demir: "The Maras Police Chief at the time was Abdülkadir Aksu, Minister of the Interior in the last AKP government. The massacre was organised by MIT (the Turkish secret service), the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the Islamists together... As soon as I heard about the massacre, I went to Maras. In the morning I went to Maras State Hospital. There I met a nurse I knew...When she saw me, she was surprised: 'Seyho, where have you come from? They are killing everyone here. They have taken at least ten lightly-wounded people from the hospital downstairs and killed them.' This was done under the control of the head physician of the Maras State Hospital. Everyone knows that such a big massacre cannot be carried out without state involvement. In the Yörükselim neighbourhood they cut a pregnant woman open with a bayonet. They took out the eight-month foetus, shouting "Allah Allah" and hung it from an electricity pole with a hook. The pictures of that savagery were published in the newspapers that day. The lawyer Halil Güllüoglu followed the Maras massacre case. The files he had were never made public. He was killed for pursuing the case anyway. Let them make those files public, then the role of the state will become clear."
Meryem Polat: "They started in the morning, burning all the houses, and continued into the afternoon. A child was burned in a boiler. They sacked everything. We were in the water in the cellar, above us were wooden boards. The boards were burning and falling on top of us. My house was reduced to ashes. We were eight people in the cellar; they did not see us and left."(EZÖ/TK/AG)
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