Sunday, July 29, 2007

Bereft of a rope ladder in bottomless pits

Cemil Çiçek, the Minister of Justice who had accused the organizers and participants of the Ottoman Armenians Conference that was to take place at Bosphorus University in May 2005 of “being traitors” and “backstabbing the motherland” is still in office. What’s more, he is the highest authority over the units conducting the investigation of Hrant Dink’s murder.

Deniz Baykal, who is the leader of the Republican People’s Party and also the party of fiükrü Elekdağ, the owner of the proposal stating “let us deport the 70,000 citizens of the Armenian Republic!” when the genocide denial law of the French parliament was under discussion being, of Bayram Meral who during the parliamentary discussions on the Law on Foundations claimed “You’ve put the nation aside and deal with Agop’s business,” visits the Dink family and the Patriarchate to offer his condolences.

The wreath sent by President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, who interpreted minority foundations as foreign foundations and therefore vetoed the Foundations Law, is at the church courtyard.

The chief of police who interpreted the lynching attempt against a group protesting the dispatch of soldiers to Lebanon as the “reaction of the citizen” makes a public statement, though he is not authorized to speak, claiming that “the murder is not linked to an organization.”

The individuals who once gathered in front of AGOS to scream “love it or leave it,” “we might suddenly appear one night” celebrate their victory on their web sites and soil the wall of Surp Takavor Church in Kadıköy...

TRT, the state television that kept broadcasting one program after another under the heading “The Lie of the Armenian Genocide,” to blatantly claim without a single iota of embarrassment that these racist programs were dedicated to Turkish-Armenian friendship, is covering the funeral live. The newspapers that considered drawing a urinating dog on the photograph of the Gomidas monument in Paris a masterpiece are immersed in deep grief.

The “real” citizens who, after a few kids in Mersin showed disrespect toward the Turkish flag, seized their flags upon some signal sent from “above,” and put the “false citizens” in their place are probably lost in daydreams watching whatever gossip show.

And the list goes on. Those who take their own shallow world view as the only scale of one’s love for the homeland, those who instantly proclaim anyone different from them or not one of them traitors to the country, those politicians and opinion leaders who pull all kinds of tricks to ensure Article 301 of the Turkish Criminal Code remains unchanged... Let us cite more tangible and contemporaneous examples: those who insinuate that the Hrant Dink murder had just reasons, that Hrant had gone too far; those who explain the murder with conspiracy theories and even an “Armenian plot”; those who cannot desist dragging in the assasination of Talat Pasha and the ASALA terror; those who quickly reduce the incident to a discussion of freedom of thought, and even more pathetically, to the tackiness of a conspiracy undertaken to stain Turkey’s prestige, while refraining from the statement that Hrant was killed because he was Armenian and because he struggled to enable the incidents of 1915 to be freely discussed; those who, in order to be able to love him, feel obliged to emphasize that Hrant was patriotic, that he was in disagreement with the diaspora or that he was left alone within his own community...


The most saddening aspect of this sorrowful incident is that with Hrant our hopes for change have also been buried deep down into the earth... However hard you struggle, however much you toil, to realize that there is not even the slightest political platform necessary to discuss the past and establish the future makes one feel that the values one believed in and fought for were nothing but sandcastles, and that all the changes we thought transpired in the last decade were actually illusions, and that we had all along been walking blindfolded on a minefield.

The absence of Hrant whose place in our hearts was much bigger than his bleeding, lifeless body, reminds one most of Ümit Yaşar Oğuzcan’s verses:

You have left me bereft of a rope ladder in bottomless pits,
You have let me be without a sail in the middle of the seas,
You have ruined my faith so much,
That you have left me bereft of myself; left me bereft of you.

January 26, 2007

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