Article translated from Ceni Info  No 5, 1 January 2012

In a letter to the Turkish journalist Hasan Cemal, which was published on 1.1.2012 in the newspaper “Milliyet”, BDP MP Ayla Akat describes her encounter with, and feelings about, the massacre at Roboski:

“Roboski is one of the villages of Uludere that lies close to the border. A vast crowd of people had amassed. The mountainsides were covered with people. Cries of mourning and indignation! They were accusing with tears in their eyes. The pain is so deep and so real. I cannot say anything, cannot do anything. The door to a shop is opened by the villagers. The children lie on the floor. Silence… Some bodies are still intact but unrecognisably deformed. Other bodies are torn to pieces in a bag. Some bodies have their organs torn out, others have no eyes…

Weeping, I ask how the families can really recognise their children. One father answers, ‘his mother had just sewn this jumper for him recently’. Another said, ‘these are my son’s shoes’. Although I cannot believe what I am seeing, I try to understand what I am listening to. ‘We recognised one from the reins that he held in his hand… We knew to which family the horse with these reins belonged’. The reins, which he held tightly in his fist, were his only source of nourishment, his everything… I try to collect myself. I am furious. That is clear from my statements. I say, ‘we are going to make them pay’. We, the people, Kurds, women and children……

Thousands of people wait outside. The collective pain has brought them together. I remember Habur[1]. Then there had also been a vast crowd, but at that time it was collective joy that had united the people. The tears were tears of joy. Then, the Kurdish people shared their joy, now they share their pain. Then, the Kurds were alone, and so they still are now… We did not draw these borderlines. We have not left our brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, cousins behind on the other side of the border. So these borders have always caused us problems.

I wonder: As long as I can remember, no government, in the last twenty years which I have lived through, has been able to provide a credible solution [to the Kurdish question]. No Prime Minister has ever uttered such strong words as Tayyip Erdogan. He inspired the hope of millions with his words ‘Mothers should cry no more’ and by speaking of ‘different identities’. However, the Prime Minister has not been successful in carrying the heavy responsibility of his words. That, after these words, an even greater pain has been inflicted on the people, has deeply shaken the people’s belief in unity and community. (…)

Those who had first arrived at the scene of the crime saw two children, whose bodies were unrecognisable, but who held each other’s hands tightly. The parents therefore decided to bury them together. They said: ‘They died together holding hands, so now they can never be separated’. My heart burnt like fire. Who knows, dear children, what fears you suffered when you clung to each other? Maybe they thought, ‘I am not alone, my friend is here too’ and waited for the bombing to stop. But you could not know that the next bomb would take your lives. In spite of all those who tried to keep silent about the massacres, thousands of bodies have been buried…..Above us, the helicopters flew. The operations still continue…”

 

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[1]    The arrival of peace groups from Maxmur and Kandil at the border on 19.10.2009