Will April 23 go down the drain again?

Will April 23 go down the drain again?

Last Sunday on April 10, the opening of the Vodafone Area İnönü Stadium was celebrated. Speeches were delivered; the president and the prime minister ascended to the pitch and played football in joy.


Then Saudi Arabian King Salman came. On Tuesday, April 12, the King was presented the order of the state. An elegant luncheon was thrown for the honor of the king with the participation of cabinet ministers, chief of general staff, the governor and everybody else. 

All right. 

We keep saying, “Terror cannot stop our lives; we continue with our lives just to spite terror; we are in Beyoğlu just to spite terror.”


Well then, why are you talking about cancelling the April 23 National Sovereignty and Children’s Day celebrations? What is the fault of the national holiday? What is being celebrated is the anniversary of the opening of the Turkish Parliament, national sovereignty and the holiday is a present from Atatürk to children. 

Which one is not supposed to be celebrated? Are we against the parliamentarian system symbolized by the parliament? Are we annoyed by national sovereignty? Are we avoiding mentioning children because it reminds us of what has happened to them in illegal foundations? Or is there another problem? Which sensitivity has caused the cancellation of April 23 celebrations? 

Fine, “terror and martyrs” are said to be the reason; but April 23 is not a party or a spring festivity of drinking and dancing until the morning. 

This is the nation’s day, our joint past and our spiritual value. 

You better take note that people do not like these efforts to cancel and evade, with all kinds of excuses, the April 23, May 19 and October 29 days… 

I would recommend you give up the cancellation and celebrate this important day the way it deserves to be celebrated.  

No limit in my admiration 

Özgecan’s murderer was killed by another convict in prison with a mysterious gun. I was on the streets for another job the day he was killed and most people from all social classes, if not all, and political views from Dolapdere to Nişantaşı were saying, “I did not feel quite sorry for him; as a matter of fact, it was well done.”

Moreover, the relatives of the convict who killed him said, “We are proud of him.”

I wonder if the same incident had happened some 10 or 15 years ago, what we would have felt as a society. Would there be such a vast “Justice has been served” reaction? 

Probably, 10 or 15 years ago, we would have said, “This is unacceptable; going outside the law of the state, to implement your own law of the jungle, no matter what, should be heavily penalized;” which is the correct point of view. 

Law, justice and laws are different concepts; but it is absolutely certain that we have no trust left in any of them. This is our biggest desperation and our biggest disaster. 

In this incident, I cannot express my admiration for two people who have given hope. 

After being told his daughter’s murderer had been killed, Özgecan’s father said, “Even if he is a monster and a murderer, may God rest his soul. … I cannot be very happy that such a thing has happened in a state institution that should secure everybody’s life, where there is rule of law. Justice was served when they were sentenced to life. … Don’t say ‘well done.’ Everybody should recognize their responsibility.”

Özgecan’s mother said, “When I learned of his death I was neither sorry nor happy.... God help him also. He has ruined both his world here and his other world. He is a living creature in the end. He has a soul also.”

If the system in this country, in this society, is functioning more or less, it is because of proper, ethical and kind people who still believe in justice, institutions, equality and in a joint and good future. In other words, it is because of you, me and Özgecan’s family.  

Despite others who work to reverse this with all their vulgarism and grudge, by yelling and scolding, with their conspiracies, rages, sauciness and lawlessness…