Victims of Sivas Massacre remembered on 28th anniversary
The Sivas Massacre, an arson attack staged on mostly Alevi intellectuals inside the Madımak Hotel that killed 33 intellectuals and two hotel personnel, was commemorated on its 28th anniversary on July 2 in the Central Anatolian province of Sivas.
Sivas Governor Salih Ayhan and representatives from non-governmental organizations attended the ceremony, laying red carnations in the memorial corner in the hotel building.
“This pain is the common pain of all of us, our Sivas and all humanity. In these lands, dark hands have always tried to sow grudge, oppression and hatred. 28 years ago, they made such an attempt in Sivas as well,” Ayhan said during his speech.
Another commemoration event kicked off in front of the Pir Sultan Abdal Culture Foundation’s (PSAKD) Sivas branch in the Seyrantepe neighborhood.
A large crowd attended the commemoration march, where COVID-19 restrictions were not applied unlike last year.
The families carried photographs of their beloved ones, walking in the front façade of the group march consisting of about 1,000 people.
The attack against the hotel on July 2, 1993 targeted a group of intellectuals participating in a conference organized by the PSAKD, an Alevi organization.
The event came at a time when the prominent novelist Aziz Nesin, who was among the guests, had become a public target for translating Salman Rushdie’s “The Satanic Verses” into Turkish.
The participants of the conference were accused of being “infidels” by the large crowd outside, who had been provoked to action by a number of local political leaders.
While 33 people attending the conference died in the fire, two hotel personnel also died along with them.
Two protestors, who were in the crowd outside the hotel that instigated the events leading to the massacre, also died in the fire.