The Association for Solidarity for Familied of Wounded or Killed Soldiers from the Emergency Rule Areas (i.e. the southeast and east of the country) and the Mesopotamia Association of Those Losing their Relatives (MEYADER) came together at a meeting organised by the Southeast Journalists' Society in Diyarbarkır.
"It needs to end"
Nurten Ekinci's son lost his life during his military service. She said, "We do what we can for peace. We mothers, whose hearts are burning, have come together so that there will be no more pain. We saw and felt that they have experienced just as much pain as we have. We do not want our children to die. We came here today to send out this message. We have done our duty, as everyone should. Now it is your turn."
Sakine Arat, who lost three children that had joined the PKK, said, "This war does not benefit anyone. It has lasted for years, and it needs to end."
She added, "It is not a crime for Kurds to want rights. It is very important that women have come together for this war to end. I hope this leads to peace. They are mothers of 'şehit' (soldiers who died), they understood us well, and we understood them well. They agreed with us. We are happy to have met the soldier mothers."
"The heaviest price"
Speaking at a press briefing on Saturday, Müslüm Öztürk, the president of the injured and killed soldiers' family's association, said, "During the thirty-year conflict all parts of our society have paid a heavy price. Some of us with our lives, some of us with our property. However, the heaviest price was paid by thousands of mothers like us who paid with the lives of our children."
"No one else felt the pain as much as we have, but the truth is that blood cannot be cleaned away with more blood. We don't want other mothers to feel the pain that our mothers have experienced. We have no other option but to send this page of darkness and pain into history."
Hasan Pençe, president of MEYADER's managing board, said, "We call on everyone to make a contribution towards peace. Let us all together forget the past. Let us get rid of arms, hatred and hostility among us. Let us show everyone that we can live in peace."
Second meeting in Şırnak
In another meeting in the southeastern province of Şırnak, two mothers came together. Kumriye Bilgi is the mother of Hafiye Bilgi, a PKK member who died after the Turkish Armed Forces carried out air attacks on Kandil mountain in 2008. She shared an embrace with Zeynep Yalçın, whose son Burhan Yalçın died after being shot by the PKK in Pülümür.
Bilgi said, "As mothers, we finally want this bloodshed to stop. We are peoples who have always lived together."
Yusuf Yalçın, father of Burhan Yalçın, said, "We support the peace process. There should be an end to the tears."
The meeting in Şırnak had been arranged by some province council members and NGOs. (TK/AG)
* This news item made use of Diyarbakır Söz, Gündeydoğu Olay and Güneydoğu Ekspres newspapers.
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