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KANAT ATKAYA >Hearts not strong enough for this country

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For 65-year-old Hamide Yücel in the Mediterranean province of Antalya’s Kepez district, it was a very ordinary Sunday morning. She had invited her son and his friends for a Sunday breakfast. 

The rest of the morning has been written by a Doğan News Agency reporter, our colleague Süleyman Ekin, in his story through witnesses. 

First, Ali Yücel explained: “We were all sitting at the entrance. The iron gate was open. A person with a gun ran toward us. We started panicking and asked him who he was. Without answering, he and his colleague held me and made me lie on the couch. My mother came out when she heard the loud voices. She asked them, ‘Who are you? Why have you come?’ They were trying to handcuff me by holding my arms. When I asked them again who they were, they told me they were police. My mother told them to stop. ‘He is my son. Where are you taking him? I will not let you take him anywhere.’ The police shouted at her, ‘You stand back, auntie. Your son is wanted for a murder’ and he pushed her to the couch.”  

Now, let us listen to neighbor Hüsam Ekşioğlu: “Those people who we learned later were policemen entered the house; there was yelling inside. I left my grandchild and ran to my neighbor’s house. At that moment, I saw that my neighbor’s son had been pushed to the couch by the police. Auntie Hamide was trying to stop the policemen who were trying to handcuff his son. Later, she lost consciousness…”

From that moment on, the son Ali Yücel explained, “My mother was in bad shape. While we were trying to help her, policemen wanted to take me. I told them, ‘Wait, let me help my mother, she is going to die.’ I took out my ID and gave it to them. Meanwhile, the other police approached me with an envelope and looked at the photo he took out of it and then he looked at me. He said, ‘You do not look like him. It is not you. We were given this address…” 

And then? Well, what happened then? 

Hamide Yücel had a heart attack and died. 

Remember Y.K.? 

Do you remember 9-year-old Y.K.? She went to her friend’s home to play in İzmir’s Bornova district. She was raped by her friend’s grandfather there. 

The bastard (I cannot be any kinder, sorry) was released pending trial. As the date of the hearing was nearing, the 9-year-old Y.K. was under stress and fear. Her heart could not bear the fear of facing the abusing coward and stopped. 

The life of 9-year-old Y.K. was taken by this “legal coarseness.” 

It is that simple and that painful. 

Do you remember Danyal Irgav? He was a teacher of 30 years and people said he was loved by everybody around him. He was a member of the teachers’ union Eğitim-Sen. Danyal Irgav, who was of Syriac origin, was suspended after the July 15 coup attempt. For 83 days, Irgav was not accused of any concrete crime. His heart that resisted all the slander during this period stopped the day he was reinstated to his position. 

Mardin’s Social Solidarity Federation commemorated Irgav as follows: 

“Danyal Irgav, during his 30 years of teaching, left important marks both with his service and humanity. This was clearly visible on the faces of hundreds of Muslims, Syriacs, Turks, Kurds and Arabs, who reflect the cultural profile of Mardin, who attended his funeral in Midyat.”

It is this simple. It is this painful. It is this cruel. 

It takes a heart to live in this country – a strong heart. But even strong hearts sometimes are not adequate; they stop. 

A pity on us all…

January/25/2017

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