ÖZGÜR MUMCUThe Sivas massacre of July 2, 1993 will drop from the agenda of the judiciary tomorrow (today). According to the acting president of the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK), İbrahim Okur, “The problem in the Sivas case stems from justice arriving late and from security forces, who do not catch [the suspects] in time.”
The same judiciary that prosecutes those who wear a poshu scarf, carry placards or sell concert tickets, could not locate an organized terror crime in the Sivas case.
The security of this country could not catch a defendant standing trial with a request for capital punishment for almost 20 years, half of this period coinciding with this government’s term.
One of those they could not catch died in his home in Sivas. I don’t know how many meters his house was from the police station. One of those they could not catch got married in Kangal district of Sivas, 14 days after Madımak was burned and poets and folk artists were killed.
Another runaway defendant, İhsan Çakmak - despite the fact that he was on trial, prosecuted with capital punishment and was a wanted man - got married, did his military service, registered his child and received his driver’s license.
After tomorrow (today), the case against Çakmak will be dropped. Who knows, maybe he will appear on a TV talk show, issue a press release or join a talent show to become a semi-famous contestant.
Irresponsibility and indifference are so widespread and so general in the Sivas massacre case that no one even thinks about identifying who is responsible for this situation in the judiciary and the security forces. Irresponsibility becomes anonymous. This system wants us to continue living our lives as if the Sivas massacre never happened.
The Sivas case, even though some perpetrators were sentenced, has remained in the dark.
The reason I reach this opinion is not because of a few fugitives who will be saved by the statute of limitations tomorrow (today). This is only one sign that the judiciary and the security forces did not take the Sivas massacre seriously and they are exerting an effort to cover it up.
The Sivas massacre has not been illuminated. For this reason, it will continue to serve as a snack at political debates. One day newspapers will have headlines “It was the PKK who torched Madımak,” the next day they will write Sivas’ murderer was Ergenekon. The responsibility will be put on ghosts and the nameless bad. Sometimes it will be the PKK, sometimes Ergenekon and sometimes political Islamist masses will be blamed. But no concrete proof will be presented for any of them and Sivas will slowly disappear below the smoke choking it.
This case, which has not been able to reach material fact, has paved the way for Sivas to be forgotten and only be remembered when there was a need for instrumentalization.
Revoking the statute of limitations was one way to reveal the hidden side of the Sivas massacre. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has rejected such a proposal. Another way is setting up a research commission; it is apparent that the AKP systematically refuses proposals for research commissions related to political murders. The executive only made a Madımak Museum (in which the names of murderers were also included), and made a kindergarten in rooms where people choked to death.
The legislative, executive and judiciary, when Sivas is in question, have adopted the principle of union of powers.
Tomorrow (today) is March 13. The Sivas case will sink before our eyes like a bilged heavy and old ship.
Tomorrow (today) is March 13. It is also the anniversary of the Gazi Neighborhood massacre, another case that reached no result.
A murder for each day, a massacre for each day.
This country has a calendar where each day of its year is bloody. The names of those who smear that blood, and who do not clean it will be written in history books. You may not be able to see it, but your children and your grandchildren will read your names in those books. I wish you a long life so that you may see that day.
Özgür Mumcu is a columnist for daily Radikal in which this piece was published March 12. It was translated into English by the Daily News staff.