Saturday, November 10, 2007


Milliyet newspaper published a series of interviews with the retired top generals of Turkish military highlighting their views about where Turkey went wrong in Kurdish problem. Most of them admitted that some of the steps taken as a part of precaution caused the problem worsen.

Most important comment came from retired Chief of General Staff Kenan Evren who also served as the president after the 1980 military coup. He admitted the mistakes were committed in the Kurdish problem in 1980s including the ban on Kurdish language; "I later realized that the ban on Kurdish language was a mistake and I, now, believe that civil servants serving in the Southeastern region should know Kurdish."

What a great step for our former junta leader, late painter. One could think retirement and painting make him begin thinking. Or is he nearing end and decide to face with his mistakes? He might reminded banning Kurdish because of the interview, but what about all other mistakes? Or should I say "crimes"?

Here is a short quotation from an old article;

"During the Cold War years, from the late 1960s through the 1970s and 1980s, the world lived under the military coups and dictatorships supported by the USA. During this period when even supporters of democracy were considered as enemies of the state, “torture” reached the peak of its reign.

And in Turkey, September 12, 1980 came in such a state. It came, struck and destroyed. It took so many things away. It is enough just to change names of the countries and the dates. What happened was no different. People got “disappeared” the way they did in Chile and went through the same tortures as they did in Honduras. Even the torturing equipment and the methods were the same. The training for the torturers and the users manuals were of the same source.

One more country sent their children to the same counters. 1,683,000 people were labeled. 650,000 were put under surveillance, 230,000 were judged in 210,000 trials, executions were asked for 7,000. 517 were sentenced to death, and 50 of them were executed. 388,000 were not given passports, 30,000 were dismissed from ‘objectionable’ jobs, 14,000 were denied citizenship, 300 died from doubtful causes. 171 were proved to “have died from torture.” 937 movies were prohibited for their “objectionable contents,” 23,677 organizations were closed. 3,854 teachers, 120 academicians working at universities, and 47 judges were made redundant. For 400 journalists 4,000 years of imprisonment in total was asked. Newspapers could not publish for 300 days.

In short, a generation was intended to be wasted regardless to their ethnicity or ideological differences but that generation stayed despite everything they had lived and would live through."

In fact it was not only Kurdish what they banned but to talk at all. How many mistakes they would confess, they can't bring back the loses of the people of this country? If there is still blood flowing on these lands, it is mainly their junta's gift even if not totally.

If they forgotten their comments as; "Will we feed them in prisons instead of hanging?" while they were executing 16 years old, we didn't and will not!..

Wish him a long and healthy life. Wish he may confess more in time and survive till he can be taken to courts as Pinochet.

Rest is et cetra as in the old poem from old memories...

with juntas, with diplomatic notes life has passed
would a two year old child remember?
I do remember my dad getting dressed and going out in a hustle
the planes flying over our heads on 27 May 1960.
I watched 1968s from very close
roads from universities passed before our house..

12 March 1971 diplomatic note started death walk of the youth
we watched US 6th Squadron’s being driven off to the sea
by our elder sisters and brothers walking to the vast death like Denizs.
time was running,
it was about to be our turn
smiling, dancing we took our turn…

so many roads were walked
does our voice still echo
are our footsteps still there
I do not know…
I did not look back at the years past
so long I have walked, did not seek traces
did not seek for screamed screams
buried all that has been lived…

we did not care to be remembered
to be heard after many years
all was a relay race...
we did not know
whose turn was after ours
to whom we would give the flag
we were left dumbstruck with our buried wounds.

I did not look back at the years past
did not seek for the trails we left on the roads we walked
did not try to hear the echo of our screams…
if the problem is to seek for, I sought
for some by backstabbing bullets, some within traps
some in tortures, executions, disappeared
I sought for our wasted,
the ones who had gone
in the midst of the most beautiful stage of their lives..

I left their screams, trails, et ceteras wasted
like a two year old child’s remembrance of the planes over her head
all was near me, nearby me, carved within me
with putsches, with diplomatic notes life has passed
I only search for the ones who are gone when their turn came
my eyes cannot abjure but always see them
and they will continue seeing for how long it would endure,

this life is prepared...

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