No peace will come before we make peace
Come; let us leave aside the words and views of politicians, the steering of opinion leaders. Let us turn to ourselves for once, and let us see what we have.
Let us face our naked thoughts and face our entrenched pains, our rooted rage.
Come; let us try to go beyond the torched and vandalized public property.
It is indeed not easy to get rid of those ideas, those prejudgments that have been formed throughout decades, passing from father to son, from mother to daughter.
It will be difficult at the beginning.
First, it will be denial. Then will come facing the truth, and next will be facing your own self. Then there will be understanding of the other side, trying to develop empathy, then comes the soul-searching, doing justice and finally – this is the most difficult of all – forgiving.
One has to read in abundance those that were not able to be written, listen in abundance to those that were not able to be told.
At the end, you will see that it is not only you who is suffering, who is in pain, but that everybody has his or her share of these pains.
Of course one needs to want to forgive from the beginning; and of course to be forgiven.
You may or may not like the members of the “Wise People Council.” However, it is a reality that this council has worked in seven regions with 63 people.
According to their reports, Turks are unaware of the violation of rights and sufferings experienced in the Kurdish region.
The report of the committee on the southeastern region of Anatolia has revealed that, “It is one of the vital components of this process that what has been done to the Kurds should be understood and digested by the Turks.”
According to the study conducted by Ayşe Betül Çelik, Razarta Bilali and Ekin Ok, among Turks and Kurds residing in İzmir, these two segments define the issue very differently.
Çelik elaborates in her article published in “Clashes, Solutions and Peace” from İletişim publications as such: “The fact that the issue is defined differently by different the groups, that the pains of one segment is not known to the other segment, or is not wished to be known, the existence of strong negative images between groups, are signs that even though the peace process is accelerated, it will not be based on a social platform and that, with the slightest stumble, violence would come back.”
The recent incidents we have lived through have proven this thesis right.
If the peace of the state is not based on a social platform, if commissions for truth have not been founded, if wrong information has not been corrected, that people have not faced the truth, if they have not been able to listen to their stories, then we should do it ourselves as the people of this society.
We should write our own history, not others’.
We are not in the 1990s anymore. Thanks to information technologies, we have access to any kind of information we want. We should leave this hatred aside and start questioning the disinformation that we have been fed for many years. We are very late, very much. We should hurry.
As Çelik said, in order to overcome the social trauma, one needs to face the past, be able to leave it in the past and at the same time imagine a new and much better future.
We have once again become locked with the foreign circles that want to stir Turkey, domestic powers, lobbies and “traitors.”
Leave them; let us leave politics, our conspiracy theories, those who want to pull us this way or that way…
Tell me, do we want to make peace human to human? Or, do we want to constantly fuel this rage and hatred inside us and make it bitterer?
While we have an option of imagining a better future…