Teacher killed in PKK attack laid to rest in central Turkey
ÇORUM/BATMANA music teacher who was killed in an outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) attack in the southeastern province of Batman was laid to rest in the Osmancık district of the northern Anatolian province of Çorum on June 11.
Şenay Aybüke Yalçın, 22, was heavily wounded in the PKK attack on Batman Mayor Veysi Işık’s vehicle on June 9 while she was heading home in another vehicle after attending a ceremony to distribute report cards on the last day of semester before the summer break.
She was taken to Kozluk State Hospital, but succumbed to her injuries.
Education Minister İsmet Yılmaz, Gov. Necmeddin Kılıç, Çorum Justice and Development Party (AKP) MPs Salim Uslu and Ahmet Sami Ceylan, and Tufan Köse, a deputy from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), attended the funeral, as well as thousands of others, including Yalçın’s students.
The remains of Yalçın, who was assigned as a music teacher to Kozluk in September 2016, was brought to Ankara on June 10 before being transported to Çorum.
Speaking at the funeral, Yalçın’s father, Sadık Yalçın, said “no one can discourage us.”
“This country will remain Turkish. How happy is the one who says he is a Turk both today and tomorrow,” Yalçın said.
Yılmaz, meanwhile, said that “they are in mourning.”
“Terror will never win and it’s bound to lose. As 80 million people, we will continue working nonstop to make our country’s future better and more beautiful in unity and fraternity. We will make Aybüke’s memory live on. Aybüke had a lot to do. The people won’t forget those working for them,” Yılmaz said.
Yalçın’s name will be given to the music classroom that she made for the school, according to the school’s principal, Mahmut Işık, who also said she was the youngest teacher at the school and was loved by her students.
“When she came to our school, there was no music classroom. With her efforts, she made us a music room and supplied the musical instruments all by herself. We are saddened by losing a very successful teacher,” Işık said.
Her students, meanwhile, said Yalçın approached the pupils with a “mother’s affection.”
“She taught us a lot in such a short period of time. She was not only our music teacher, but also was a partner of our miseries. She was a teacher, but she was more like our mother,” student Dilek Avcı said, while another of her students, Firdevs Akın, said Yalçın was a teacher “to be taken as an example.”
The killing of the teacher deeply shook Turkey, as many leaders passed on their condolences, including President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli.
“Damn the terror that took Aybüke Yalçın, a fresh teacher, away from her dreams on the day that report cards were distributed,” Kılıçdaroğlu wrote on his Twitter account on June 9.
Presidential Spokesperson İbrahim Kalın also passed on his condolences while criticizing Western media for “aestheticizing PKK terror.”
“Western media that aestheticize PKK terror won’t write about Aybüke Yalçın or our fallen soldiers. However, they will always live on in our hearts,” Kalın said on June 10, referring to soldiers killed in PKK attacks on the same day in Batman and the southeastern province of Şırnak.