If anybody asks, you can say that they were children who went to death with their toys
This was one of the signs from the protest done for Suruç Massacre where 33 young people were murdered with a suicide bombing of DAESH, carried in İstanbul: “If anybody asks, you can say that they were children who went to death with their toys.”
Or you can choose not to say that. Yes, because it’s the reality.
Socialist Youth Associations Federation organized a trip to Kobanê where 300 activists from Turkey participated to support the Rojava Revolution and re-build Kobanê after it was rescued from DAESH (ISIS) occupation.
They met in the border town Suruç, where they were supposed to pass the borders. Yes they had boxes of toys with them. They wanted to build a library. They had 500 saplings with them for a memorial forest, fruit scions were different, just for Berkin Elvan, 14 year old who was murdered by the police during Gezi Park protests, with a gas canister. Yes they were anti-militarist, peaceful young people but why do we have to prove that they were “innocent”? Why do we have to talk about the fact that they were carrying books and toys with them? We say “but he was only present at that street because he wanted to buy bread” to prove a child was not a protestor. What about the child who was a protestor? Does he deserve to die? We say “but he was only coming back home from school when he was killed by the police” to prove a child was innocent. What about the street child who was there, and not actually coming back home from school? Does he deserve to die? They say “but what was their purpose for being there”? Where’s there exactly? There – the lands of the Republic of Turkey?
32 young people on the day of the 3rd Anniversary of Rojava Revolution were murdered by a suicide bomb that leaked within them. I could not watch the videos; I could not look at the photos. I could not listen to the screams of people. There was a woman activist amongst them. I read her tweets right after the bombing. She wrote: “people are in pieces” so many times. Letters far away from each other, words hard to read: People are in pieces. Why those people were in Suruç? Why did they want to go to Kobanê? What the heck where they doing there? How dare they went there? Would you like to know?
Rojava is the area where three autonomous cantons are in north-east of Syria. Cezirê, Efrîn and Kobanê. 3 years ago, on 19th of July, PYD (Democratic Union Party) in Syria gained control over Kobanê and declared the Rojava Revolution. People from various races, religions and languages took the power as PYD. With Rojava Revolution, a system livable for the people of Middle East was formed for the first time. Yet since 16th of September, 2014 Kobanê was under the surrender of DAESH. Thousands of people from all around the world joined the courageous fight of YPG/YPJ voluntarily. Thanks to those who fought against the ones whom behead people, Kobanê was cleared from DAESH. During this difficult period, various voluntarily acts were organized in Suruç, from sending one single item of clothing to going there as a doctor. All those people, who believed a different way of living in the Middle East is possible went to Suruç, Kobanê and Rojava. People went there to fight against the brutal violence DEASH is trying to propose. After DAESH was out of Kobanê, there was a city, burnt and destroyed. And since then, people are tyring to rebuild it.
And that’s why those 32 young people were trying to go there, to show their support for Rojava, on the anniversary of the revolution. So that the revolution could last, so that they could contribute to it… What was it that they could offer? Books, toys and saplings… They had those in their pockets.
Hatice Ezgi Sadet. A 20 years old woman from the west part of Turkey. She had told so many times why she wanted to go to Rojava, and here’s what she said in a video: “As women, we embrace this revolution. It means this to us: Rojava is a place where gender stereotypes are destroyed. We know that within the people of the Middle East, all these wars, these gangs exploit the women the most, they oppress the women the most. Now, women are in self-defense. They take the guns and fight in the fronts of the war. They formed YPJ and many other women’s unions. As women from the west and as women from Kurdistan, we see our freedom in the women of Rojava Revolution. Rojava is freeing us.”
Alican Vural is one of the young people who died. This is what he wrote on Twitter: “We will be in Kobanê, in order to build it against the murderers, partners, b headers, those who humiliate women.”
We have a revolution like this, very close to Turkey. 20 years old people have seen this. Many more has seen it. Those who are there and those who support what’s going on there, like me. All of us have seen it.
These teenagers, they had a heart full of bravery of something that I could not do! I am really tired of asking for your pity on them by showing them as hippies who had toys in their pockets!
If I try to prove their innocence to you, wouldn’t that make all of those who died to build Rojava Revolution guilty? Do you know how many people have died so that those cantons were formed?
When the war was though in Kobanê, Suphi Nejat Ağırnaslı was murdered fighting against DAESH. He was only 2 years older than me. He had a bachelors degree of sociology from Bosporus University. He was a militant of MLKP. His code name was Paramaz Kılızbaş.
But Paramaz had a gun his hand! That’s not ok! Is t? Then how about Kader Ortakaya? She did voluntary work in Suruç for 25 days and she was a part of the human chain in the borders to that volunteers could take humanitarian aid to Kobanê. Turkish army shot her and killed her. They denied that they have shot her. She died with no murderers accused.
Rıfat Horoz. He was a 60 years old man from Sinop. He left his house, his everything to a family from Kobanê whom escaped the war and went off to Kobanê to fight against DAESH. He died about one month ago in an attack from DAESH. There was a photo of him with lilac flowers in his hand, it hurts to see that everytime I look at it.
No, I am not saying one death is above another. I’m just saying that I do not make a differentiation between the deaths as guilty and non-guilty. What is the definition of the word terrorist? What is the definition of peaceful protest? As peaceful protestors, should we offer DAESH, who practice every single type of patriarchal violence against humanity, flowers, like we did to the police in Gezi Park protest?
Everybody is afraid to call those who died in Suruç human. Those who died are human. And they are humans whom I was in solidarity with.
Before, I had no reconnaissance of those who died, even from a distance. But now it’s not like that. Those who died in Suruç, I had common friends with. Friends of my friends are dying. Who’s next? My friends? And after that, who?
The circle is getting tight. I guess it would take a police officer or a DAESH militant to kill you with a rifle in front of your house to understand… You think that you are protected in your white-collar jobs, at your security guard protected residences where you exit with your luxury cars? Do not forget: we all step on the same sidewalk as soon as you exit the door of your secure lives where you live as queens and kings.
This is what Loren Elva, an LGBTIQIA activist who has survived Suruç massacre said:
“I am not fine. I will not be fine. Don’t be fine.”
Please. Don’t be fine anymore.