Support one woman, attack another
Özgecan Aslan was murdered brutally because she was a woman.
We are, as a country, experiencing the pain of such an atrocity. At least, today, all of us, especially we, men, should be thinking again and again, questioning our view of women. The first thing men should do is change the language of politics.
The discourse of male politicians who are always in the eyes of the public, has created a wave of hate in Turkey in recent years. There is almost nobody left who has not admitted this, including the deputy prime minister and the president of the Constitutional Court.
It should be seen that this discourse of hate is not sustainable and that urgent measures should be taken.
We spare our children the Surah al-Fatihah
It is our right to expect the president and the prime minister to lead in the abandoning of the discourse of otherizing that is fueling the hate by adopting urgent measures. However, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, even while he is defining the murder of our Özgecan as infamy, unjustly charges another woman, just because she is an opposition deputy. Aylin Nazlıaka, who participated in the dancing demonstration to “protest violence against women,” is one of the figures in this field who should be the last to be criticized.
Let us assume that Erdoğan did not know the cause and he does not like dancing, but in his words, “If you know it, then why don’t you say a prayer, the Surah al-Fatihah,” among these words the “if you know it” phrase, tell me, what kind of a perception about Nazlıaka was he aiming at?
Who would say a prayer and who would not say a prayer is an individual act and cannot be the concern of anybody else. However, if the issue is to say one Surah al-Fatihah, then these questions are only justified, aren’t they?
While this country’s 14-year-old son Berkin was killed by police, the same Surah al-Fatihah was withheld from him and a wish for God’s mercy was spared from him. A “terrorist” was made out of that child; instead of sympathizing with his mourning mother, crowds were made to boo her from one town square to the other. And who was it that did not say a Surah al-Fatihah for our 19-year-old son Ali İsmail (and other brothers of him) who was beaten to death with sticks by police and shopkeepers on the street in the middle of the night, while saying “they broke those nice beautiful tiles,” as if they were more precious than human life, in an attempt to legitimize those deaths.
Let Özgecan be the turning point
We need to ask new questions. Why does Erdoğan, who made Nazılaka the target yesterday, not feel the need to say a word about the tweet of a pro-government singer that legitimized the murder of Özgecan?
If, by accident, such a tweet was posted by a leftist artist or by someone who was known for his or her opposition views, is there anyone who can’t imagine what kind of reaction the president would have made?
I don’t know if those journalists who frequent Erdoğan’s plane would ask this question to him and if they would contribute to eliminating this discourse which has gone completely off the rails. We all have duties to stop this discourse.
First, we have to move the issue from “say a Surah al-Fatihah” debate that fuels otherizing.
Now, let’s get to work and steer clear of the discourse of “If you are a man,” from hate speech and otherizing language so that our Özgecan can say this: “My murder has become a milestone; I am now sure that my country will always remember me.”