Female soldier tells mourning mother ‘rich people don’t become soldiers, don’t die’
DHA PhotoA non-commissioned female officer, accompanying the mother of a killed soldier during his funeral, took the attention of the media when she said that rich people would not become soldiers nor be martyred, while trying to soothe the mother’s pain.
In an attempt to comfort Cennet Özata, the mourning mother of 23-year-old Mustafa Kemal Özata, who succumbed to his injuries days after being wounded in clashes with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the female officer said the rich would not die in clashes as they would not become soldiers at the fallen soldier’s funeral, held in Turkey’s central province of Konya on Aug. 29.
“Aunty, don’t I know? Would the rich become soldiers? No. The rich would neither become a soldier nor a martyr,” said the female soldier, as Cennet Özata was explaining her hard economic situation while raising all seven of her children.
Specialized Sgt. Özata, who was injured in clashes in the southeastern province of Hakkari’s Yüksekova district on Aug. 14, succumbed to his injuries on Aug. 28, at the GATA military hospital in Ankara where he was being treated.
His mother said his son had to work in bazaars after graduating from high school and added that her husband was a driver.
The female soldier’s words came a week after the brother, also an officer, of a killed soldier had lashed out the country’s main political figures, during his younger brother’s funeral ceremony.
Lt. Col. Mehmet Alkan, the elder brother of slain army captain Ali Alkan, who was killed after PKK militants attacked a military outpost in the southeastern Şırnak province’s Beytüşşebap district late Aug. 21, directly targeted politicians during the funeral in the southern province of Osmaniye on Aug. 23, where more than 15,000 people, including several members of the parliament participated, while also questioning the reasons behind the latest outbreaks of violence.
“Why do those who have been saying ‘solution’ since yesterday now say war?” Alkan asked, in reference to the Kurdish peace process, which came to a halt late July after being conducted for more than two years, bringing an end to the 30-year-long clashes between the Turkish security forces and PKK militants.
“This son of our homeland was just 32 years old. He couldn’t get enough of his country or his beloved ones yet. Who is his murderer?” Alkan asked at the ceremony.
Following the outburst, which was caught on camera, sources told daily Hürriyet that the gendarmerie general command is set to start disciplinary proceedings in accordance with internal procedures.
Meanwhile, speaking to Hürriyet, Interior Minister Sebahattin Öztürk said the lieutenant colonel’s reaction was “understandable but wrong.”