1978 was one of those sad and deadly years.
We were used to deaths, bombs and funerals. Fascists, backed by secret police, were everywhere. They bombed revolutionary students at Istanbul University leaving 8 dead, 47 wounded in spring. They were assassinating our professors, academicians. We were afraid to take the public buses, open the doors. Abducted buses, raided houses, tortured and murdered youngsters were daily events. Newspapers were giving daily death tools as meteorology reports.
Autumn passed by similar events. Istanbul was cold and snowy. We were waiting at the lines for oil, cigarette etc and hurrying to demonstrations, boycotts, school distractions. News from the central Anatolia was terrifying.
At December 18th a theatre bombed at Kahramanmaraş. It was given as the leftists were responsible. Leftists denied and insist that it was a provocation of the right (fascists).
It was like we were living in hurry. In two days it turned to street clashes between Sunni and Alevi citizens. Police was not able (or didn't want) to control the events. At 21st December fascists murdered two teachers and next day, at 22nd they attacked to people who participated the funerals. At 24th they begin to set fires at some neighborhoods. In four days, between 22-26 December 105 dead and more than a thousand wounded.
It was not a simple incident, neither a clash between Right- left, nor Alevi- Sunni but a planned mass murder, massacre of fascists. We were watching the dead bodies on TV screens in shock, we were marching at streets, universities to protest the events but not able to reach.
It was so obvious from the beginning, from bomb boxes posted to certain people like the mayor etc that all was organised, planned and supported for economic interests. We had been witnessed other examples at Malatya, Erzurum a few months before but they were not comparable with Maras.
They were all like footsteps of fascism. Police was not interfering to evnts. They were all beginning with "Allahüekber, death to communism" calls. We were hearing new and stupid names as; “Turkish Thunder Commandos” or “Army of Rescuing Prisoner Turks". Fanatic Islamist imams were giving fetvas as; "Feast and namaz is not enough, one who kill an Alevi would be counted as he went Hac 5 times."
While Islamists were in such provocations, fascists didn't have any problems like Haj or paradise etc as their religious allies. All served to declare martial law at cities of Adana, Ankara, Elazığ, Bingöl, Erzincan, Erzurum, Gaziantep, İstanbul, Kahramanmaraş, Kars, Malatya, Sivas, Urfa and Hatay.
Investigations showed the explosives used in the bombs were from Nuclear Research Center. Police said; nationalists were bombing their own organisations for provocations and blame the "infidel leftists".
Their deputies were threatening judges, prosecutors, chiefs' of police. When the government begin to investigate the relation of National Movement Party and ts youth organisations; their leader Alpaslan Türkeş threatened the PM Ecevit with similar incidents at other cities.
Massacre engraved on our minds and become the clearest description of the reality of fascism. Sunnis in Maras were stirred up against the Alevi people and many were savagely slaughtered under the supervision of fascists. There was no limit to their violence. They killed even the fetuses in young women's wombs.
Maraş was on fire, cities of Anatolia were on fire, or hearts were on fire. We were walking on snow not being sure about life. But we were still hopeful, not aware of the time. It was less than two years before junta, there was much more to see, to live.
And here we are after 29 years. Time passed, world changed, we have changed. It is not possible to change or forget some things. S is serving his military term in Maraş, it is a city famous with it's orchids, sahlep and ice cream. I can't think them without blood, I won't visit S.
do you know the smell of blood?
do you know smell of death?
do you ever think that blood and death could have odors
that those odors could be discerned and could be remembered in spite of years?
sometimes of whom it is
even the time it had dropped the smell carries...
sometimes the numbers of the deaths
and even the moment of their death the smell reflects...
of most beautiful flowers
of sea, dews, of rains
even the smell of fresh earth cannot suppress the odor
once would be enough for it to get into your mind
once you smell the odor
it would be carved into you mind...
then you can never control it
no matter from where, how it comes, it reaches you
and you can never stay disinterested
before the flowing blood and deaths...