Letter from the Aegean where humanity ends
Those “child deaths” that occur in the Aegean Sea that have become almost “routine,” blow after blow on our consciences.... Well, I received a letter right from there…
A friend who resides in Çanakkale told me about what was happening in this province’s Ayvacık district’s village of Kuruoba. It is the capital of the refugee tragedy in Turkey, the one we are watching everyday on television screens and reading about it in papers.
The letter goes like this:
“Kuruoba... This is the place where no state exists on the shore and no humanity exists on the sea. In the small bay, every day hundreds, sometimes thousands, of refugees gather and wait. Those whose turn it is are packed into boats choke-full and sent to the Greek island of Lesbos.
The passengers are hungry and thirsty.
Now summer is over, the nights are cold. The whole family and their kids shiver at night.
Those who raise their voices, those who object to the boat that has been filled like a slave ship, are beaten until they are left unconscious by armed bandits who also have sticks in their hands. They beat men in front of their wives, mothers, fathers and their children. Even crying babies are slapped. The mothers and fathers go insane.
Sometimes gunshots are heard. There is a myth going around that they bury the dead. Well, there is no identity; nobody is searching for them or asking for them…
But there are local people over there whose eyes can see, whose ears can hear.
There are local villagers, fishermen and retired people who reside there.
Their hearts bleed when they hear the screams; the Kuruoba people cannot sleep in their warm homes when the black-eyed and black-fated children are shivering out in the cold.
They take their blankets, quilts, beds whatever they find; they open their cars, tents, depots and homes to them to accommodate them, to warm them.
With their retiree pensions, with their fishermen and villager incomes, they are feeding them and offering them some warm tea.
But they are so many… They cannot supply enough…
The more they give and offer, the more they are damned for those they cannot give anything to, offer anything to.
Then bandits arrive with sticks in their hands and arms in their belts, like they are cowboys from a Western movie. The road looks like Istanbul traffic with license plates from all over Turkey, all kinds of cars arrive. Along the road, they scold older people, old enough to be their parents, “Do not interfere, stay away. This is none of your business. What do you have to do with them…” They sometimes point their guns and say, “We will shoot you…”
Nobody can complain because they are afraid they will be informed about to those human traffickers.
On one hand there is the human conscience, on the other hand is the armed banditry.
This is the same all along the coasts of Ayvalık to Babakale, all the Turkish coasts facing the Greek Island of Lesbos… The entire coast is like Kuruoba, all the local people are like villagers from Kuruoba...”
Well, this is the letter. This letter is about the children who died hitting the coasts of our conscience…
The letter was sent from the place where humanity ends.
Now, I ask: The governor of Çanakkale, the mayor of Çanakkale, don’t you see this tragedy? What does the gendarmerie do? Where are the Çanakkale deputies?
Isn’t there a voice over there speaking for humanity?