10 Years. Easier said than…10 Years in Total. Not been easy at all, without you. Being without you, without a beloved one right next to you, and above all, my beloved one having been taken away from me in a heinous plot have all caused full of pain, sorrow and heartache.
What am I to say now to those who have been suffering such great pains for the last 20, 30, 40 years? What am I to say now to those whose children have been murdered?
In the last 10 years, I have learned by living and experiencing what it literally means to feel a pang of grief, how my teardrops can wet my bread and how salty they are. Thanks to the holy grace, I have learned how to cope with hatred and anger. Every time I think of your absence, I get flames in my body. I burn and burn, so much to the extent that I cannot contain the flames under my skin.
What has happened in the last 10 years? Oh my darling. Malatya massacre, İskenderun, Sevag Balıkçı, Roboski, Gezi events, Suruç, Diyarbakır, Sur, Mardin, Nusaybin, Cizre, Şırnak, Tahir Elçi, Ankara, July 15th, Maçka, İzmir, Gaziantep, Ortaköy, Airport attack and the war in the Middle East. Operations, terror, and what not… The country has turned into a bloodshed. Some wanted to shower in human blood. A nightmare has swept the country. People started to fear, and fell short of breath. People have been humiliated due to their identity, with their dignity been dishonoured and despised.
It is as if mothers give birth to their children for the sake of burying them in the soil. They are promoting more births. But no one thinks of protecting the right to life for those who are born. Yet murders that are committed day and night, such as murders of workers and women, do not count as political murders. No one takes the blame and responsibility.
Under the power of terror and the terror of the ones in power, it is once again the peoples who pay for the price. Who said what for which does not change what happens to us. The terror waged by those states who declare war against terror, leads to the same way as the latter. One day this state may appear before us as the US in Abu Ghraib, next day as Russia in Aleppo, another day as Turkey in Southeast Anatolia, another day as Syria against dissidents…One day the winds blow from the north to this killing ground, another day from the south… Yet, it is always us, the peoples, who end up reaping this cursed harvest…Dead baby corpses are coming ashore… Isn’t it enough?
I call upon the sky and earth…Mountains and seas…Rise to your feet and witness. Bear witness to the bloodshed in these lands. For people are silence, and silenced. They are dying and being killed. We have even depleted the strength to mourn after them. Extortion and tyranny have already gone beyond borders. Reasons are eclipsed, and those with reason have been exterminated.
Rise to your feet mountains and seas, skies and earth…Do bear witness. Bear witness to history and today. To the deadly sins, to the abundance of murders, to the ending lives. Bear witness to the plots, lies, endless arrogance and recklessness of the Evil. Bear witness to those who pervert justice, and to all the obnoxiousness in these ancient lands.
‘‘Utterly Meaningless!’’ says the Teacher, and continues: ‘‘I undertook great projects: I built houses for myself and planted vineyards. I made gardens and parks and planted all kinds of fruit trees in them. I made reservoirs to water groves of flourishing trees. I bought male and female slaves… I also owned more herds and flocks than anyone. I amassed silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces… I acquired fame and I became greater by far than anyone lived before me. In all this my wisdom stayed with me. I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my labour…And this was the reward for all my toil. Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind.’’*
What has happened in the last 10 years? They gave us a case. We went to courthouses. They laughed at us, insulted us; they told us to ‘‘Love it or Leave it’’. They first claimed that ‘‘There is no organisation behind the murder’’, then the Supreme Court ruled that ‘‘There is an organisation, but limited to a number of nationalist youth’’. Then one day, all of a sudden, within the state - which committed the crime, than covered it up and tried to make benefit out of it - one of the many alliances has collapsed… The organisation made up of a couple of nationalist youth has been replaced by FETÖ. At one stage, they pretended as if the culprit was Ergenekon, but it bypassed our case too. Each and every time, the state leaves its tail behind on the spot and says ‘here is the evil’. Neither wrong, nor right. When are we going to get fed up with chasing the skin of the snake instead of the snake itself?
We do once again ask the very same question we asked 10 years ago…
Those who made him a target, who threatened him, who chanted ‘‘Hrant, you are the target of our rage’’, those who made statements on behalf of the General Staff. When are they going to face justice?
Crime scene footage is once again being circulated around. They say that 10 years ago, around this time, on this very spot, there were more gendarmerie officers than the civilians. We will wait and may see when this years-long investigation will come to an end.
We said it before, we will say it again. This is a murder with well-known perpetrator. The perpetrator of this murder seems to be the state, with all its ranks. For our people to understand this in their conscience, there is no need for anything else beyond the shameful theatre that has been performed in the last 10 years. If the state is not the perpetrator, then it has the responsibility to sort through the perpetrators within itself. What is sacred is not the state, it is the human being. What is sacred is life.
For the last 10 years, the state continues to sacrifice what is sacred for these lands. Just as it did 100 years ago and afterwards for the last 100 years… My sisters and brothers. Regardless of its nation, race or faith; one cannot be a proper state that deserves these lands unless it considers life as sacred.
It gives me great pain to be here today, to share with you the pain of my husband who was murdered 10 years ago, and to talk about his murder case. Yet, this case is also a very important cause of this nation for the democratization of the country.
My husband used to care much more about the conscience of people rather than the courts. The only thing that still gives us a hope, in the midst of all of these, is that the people has condemned this crime in their own conscience.
This case holds one of the keys to Turkey’s democratization. If you are going to make use of it, it’s all yours, as long as you use it for this purpose.
This case is also the case of detained journalists and deputies who have found themselves in jail deprived of their own freedom while seeking the truth and struggling for peace and freedom. May God let them to reunite with their beloved ones very soon.
Today, in this dark era, those who console themselves believing that ‘‘fortunately our people is in power’’, please do not be mistaken assuming that the ones in power is on your side. Those that you send to power - with all good intentions - to govern the country, have turned into State Men from being the sons of people. They have already forgotten their pledges. They are now trying to make you accomplice to their crimes. You do not deserve this. We do all deserve much better. And I do hope we will achieve what is much better.
Love means doing things for the other. When you walk in the path of love, you will for sure have heartaches. Yet, love is the strongest psychological warfare. Love responds to wrongdoing with benevolence. Without love, there is no creed.
Put love upon yourselves.
‘’ Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.’’**
Let the ones who love the God, do also love themselves and their neighbours.
Dear friends. We are here together with you for the last 10 years. We have become relatives in pain. We have shared our stories, we have listened to each other. Yet, during these 10 years, so many more stories full of pain, sorrow and tear have come out, thousands of them, tens of thousands of them…
It is not only about living together, what really matters is to live happy and equal. And to live in dignity and live freely… Come, let us remove the restlessness of doves in this country. Come, let us not sacrifice doves any longer. As my Chutag said:
Come, let us first understand each other...
Come, let us first respect each other’s pain...
Come, let us first let one another live.
* Ecclesiastes 2:4-11
** 1 Gospel of John 4:20