Monday, October 29, 2007
Today we are celebrating the 84th anniversary of our republic, raised on the ashes of the Ottoman Empire. After the invasion and division of Ottoman lands, Turkish National War had won by the participation of all ethnicities living on this lands.
There are not only Turkish names carved on the monuments of martyrs. There lies Laz Osmans, Turkish Mehmeds, Kurdish Ahmeds, Pomaks, Tatars, Cerkezs and all who fall for the freedom and independence lay side by side.
Yet, I don't feel like celebrating but more sadness. I feel pain because of our fallen sons regardless to ther ethnicty. Two of the young sons martyred by PKK were from Kurdish origin.
My Armenian friend's son and four of my sons' friends from different backgrounds are preparing to join their military service in five weeks. One of my son served at the border last year. I know how it feels for a mother. I cant take my other son's service postponed to next year as being lucky because they are all my sons in my heart.
Unfortunately diplomacy is apparently failing and we will undertake the military operation into Northern Iraq. Celebration of Independence Day is a sob locked in my throat with flare-ups of ethnic hostility in the society.
I am well aware of the reasons behind the provocative attacks of PKK and the behavior of so-called strategic partner countries.
As I am aware of the Kurdish problem. Kurds have all the rights of Turkish citizens. They can be generals, mayors, parliamenters, ministers or even the President. We had and have several prime ministers, generals, businessmen, and other public figures who are Laz, Cherkez, Albanian, Tatar, Macedonian, Kurdish, Georgian, Turkmen Azeri and all.
Other than Armenians, Greeks and Jews, other ethnicities as Kurds didn't have the minority rights (cultural rights, speaking or publishing in their language, broadcasting or education in their own schools, own language) because they were seen between the main founders of the Republic according to the pacts after 1st WW until recently. But they have most of these rights now with the democratization process of the country.
One of their complaint was not being able to give Kurdish names (which is solved). They are forgetting that it was not only their problem. During military coup years nobody was able to give dangerous (!) names to their children. I couldn't get birth certificates for weeks because of the names I want to give my children too.
Our biggest misfortune was being a good ally of US. That US which planned and applied mass murders of Alevis in Maras, Malatya to prepare Military Coups, that US which distribute the torture handbooks to the juntas. They didn't differ us according to our ethnicity aiming their guns, under tortures or in endless courts.
Democracy and human rights cant belong to only a group, ethnicity or nation. If you are crushing others' rights, murdering them, involving in suicide bombings between civilians you cant be anything else but terrorists. Those who don't regard others' human rights cant claim defending their own.
Once upon a time (before junta years) we were afraid to take buses because fascists were hijacking and murdering the youngsters. Yesterday I had to be at the book fair. While I was waiting a taxi in front of a shopping mall suddenly I get suspicious of a truck and hurried away. Last year we keep away from shopping malls for months. Some municipalities don't put trash basins on the streets to avoid bombings. What is this if it is not terrorism? Or is there a new version of fascists who try to drown this country in blood?
Lets put all our pain aside and celebrate our Independence Day, with our hope for peace and human rights for all regardless to our ethnicity.