Friday, June 08, 2007

Crawling like a crab

Unfortunately, once again, we end this week on a very bitter and suspicious note. 102 people were wounded and 6 died in the explosion in Ulus, Ankara. After every negative event we live through, I can’t help but recall dear Hrant’s prediction that “2007 will be a difficult year.” I confess - since the day we lost Hrant, each death, each attack, each harassment, each cruelty burns my heart in a different way than before. The sorrow I feel for the Christians who had their throats slit in Malatya, the 6 children who were ran down by an unlicensed driver while collecting food from the garbage in Kayseri, Dilara who drowned in an uncovered manhole, Oya who was married by force at 13 and was murdered by her husband at 15, the 12-year old Uğur Kaymaz who had 18 bullets fired into him by the police special forces in Kızıltepe, Melek and her two children who were murdered in Osmangazi, Bursa - sorrow for them would have been there previously, but now it is much heavier, much more unbearable. And, oh, don’t worry, I feel the same way about every soldier, every person who dies in armed conflict. I mourn after the convoy that had an accident, with one dead, while sending their sons to military service in Sivas. The list continues with Iraq, Darfur, Palestine, Afghanistan, Africa. The grief I feel for Hrant is meaningful only if I can feel this way. It is only then that the pain makes me human. I know that only this kind of grief gives birth not to hate and revenge but to a solution. But the pain still remains unaltered. With every new pain, we relive the previous stabs to our hearts, again and again. This is what I go through, whether I like it or not.

The ill-omened hands that pushed a button on January 19 continue to shed blood and try to block Turkey’s crab-like crawl towards being a democratic society. The haste shown by the deep-state in blocking Turkey’s efforts to become an open society, naturally makes these efforts much more visible. Can a plot be so visible, so shallow? It is. Can society see through and perceive such a shallow and blatant plot? I hope so. We need it desperately to be so. The blood of victims stains the ghost-like perpetrators and makes them visible. However, it is possible to see and to know and yet to pretend not to see, not to know. This is where our participation would begin in all the blights on humanity I list above, including Hrant’s murder.

But, we cannot murder to “solve” our problems. We cannot engage in provocations. We cannot slander, we cannot engage in racism. We do not have the power to bend the law and even if we did, we would not use it. All human beings are our sisters and brothers.

Then, are we powerless?

No. Although it may seem sometimes as if our hopes are shattered, we will continue our crawl. As Neruda said, we are the people, the uncounted, and the many. In the end, all ideologies, all big powers and even realpolitik come to evolve towards the people. As long as we keep our minds and consciences clean, our crawl to democracy will continue and will reach its destination, no matter how difficult the journey may be.

Our power comes from keeping our minds clean and reflecting our beliefs at the polling station. We need to believe it even more strongly at these difficult times when we think we do not have a party that represents us and when politics has been raped by the law itself. 2007 is turning out to be a year where the curse of İttihat ve Terakki/Union and Progress turns to even more outrageous methods in order to hang on to its power. Exactly who and what are the targets of these attacks? Why do we have this sudden nightmare descend upon us at the end of the most democratic, freest 4.5 years? Who was in power for the last 4.5 years?

The answers to these simple questions point to just one direction at the polls.

Agos, 25 May 2007

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