Saturday, July 28, 2007

We were there

We were there on July 22

The reason we were there was neither interfering with the judicial process nor showing off our power.

Two thousand people gathered to witness a day in history.

We joined the court case as representatives of the two hundred thousand people who were present the funeral and, I believe, many other citizens.

The fact that we could not get inside bore no importance.

A big hole was created in the conscience of the public on 19 January, 2007. I do not know what type of court is strong enough to fix such a big hole. The wound in our conscience has got deeper with what we have witnessed during the long period of inquisition and the preparation of the criminal charge. All murders and all assassinations are disgusting and they leave a stain on the conscience. However, Hrant’s loss is different. His homicide has created such a big and deeply rooted trauma because of what he represented in the social subconscious and memory. Since the day I met Hrant, I had always considered his existence and Agos, which he founded, a surprise. The existence of such a personality in this society and the strictly enclosed community I was born into always exceeded the limits of my imagination and expectations. That is because Hrant was like the unique flower of the Little Prince in his little barren planet (B-612), and, in my opinion, we Armenains and all those people who regard themselves as democratic individuals had the obligation to care for and protect that flower just like the Little Prince did to preserve that rare flower of his.

We could not preserve our flower ….

When Hrant was alive, I wrote an article some of you may now remember. There is a TV series still broadcast on Cnbc-e, called the Cold Case. I found myself crying every time I watched this series on TV. The cases of the victims in the series, ussually selected from among “Others” are solved years later and the criminals are sentenced. A special division in the FBI evaluates each ignored case from the past and concludes it. At first, I thought I was particularly influenced by the performance of the series, my deep analysis being “Congratulations, what a production!”. Some time later I realized that m y reaction was persistent and it derived from another reason.

I realized that the feelings of “justice” and “security” are so seriously damaged in this country that even facing the implementation of justice in the right way in a second rate American crime story causes a deep jolt. I realized that the hunger for “justice, security and the punishment of the guilty,” is never satisfied however hard you try to run away from it and however hard you may try to forget. It does not matter whether six months pass since an assassination or 92 years since genocide, you want justice and you wish to get rid of the heavy burden of injustice.

I think I will have the same feelings against all kinds of injustice and unfair acts until justice is done.

Here is another memory of mine…

I was a soldier doing my military service on July 2 1995 in Sivas. It was the second anniversary of the Madımak massacre. Great security measures were taken and the soldiers of the brigade positioned 5 minutes away from the city center were all deployed in and around Madımak Hotel. As a small group, we had remained at the brigade headquarters. My Circassian friend Murat and I took post and held watch for nearly 14 hours, standing in the heat of July 2 with full equipment. Murat fainted because of the heat and hunger. I helped him to the watchmen’s cabin, laid him down, and put my burning helmet into the muddy water on the roadside. I put it back on. Then I sat on a concrete bump and began to think. I thought, “I was lucky not to be here two years ago while 37 people were burning to death.” I was sure I could not live with the feeling of guilt deriving from not being able to do anything as one of the thousands of soldiers on mission in the brigade 5 minutes away from the hotel.

I dedicate my difficult post on that day to those 37 glorious people and this article to Hrant.

06.07.2007, Agos gazetesi

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