Let’s lift up our fallen bodies, let’s put an end to our shared grief’ - English
14 Haziran 2021 - Հակական տոմար - Տարի : 4513 / Ամիս : Մարգաց / Օր : Վանատուր / Ժամ : Երկրատես

English :

20 Ocak 2021  

Let’s lift up our fallen bodies, let’s put an end to our shared grief’ -

Let’s lift up our fallen bodies, let’s put an end to our shared grief’ Başak Demirtaş said, “Our mourning doesn`t end, for the body of our loved one is still out there lying on the ground. All of us came together shoulder-to-shoulder, yet we could not lift him up from the ground. For this is such a heavy toll, a heavy legacy.”

Yesterday marked the 14th year since Agos Newspaper Editor-in-Chief Hrant Dink was assassinated in front of what was then the Agos Newspaper's building in Şişli, İstanbul on January 19, 2007.

We publish the full speech made by Başak Demirtaş, the wife of jailed former Co-Chair of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) Selahattin Demirtaş, at the commemoration ceremony of Hrant Dink.

"Dear friends, beautiful people, my sisters and brothers. We are together once again for our deepest wound that we could never come to terms with, we could never get used to over the years, and we will not do so.

"We are here for our dearest friend, our true brother, our Hrant.

"This year, the pandemic only allows us to gather in this format. We cannot look each other in the eye, but we can still hear one another's heartbeats.

"You, the people who gather in front of Agos each and every year as well as those across the globe who cannot be physically present here but whose hearts keep beating with us. We do not merely commemorate a precious one we lost, but we are also in search for [his] values.

"We seek justice, we quest for peace that slips through our fingers. We lost our laughter. Our joy, our zest for life...

"We have gathered, yet again, searching.

"We are full of grief. Our mourning does not come to an end.

"It does not come to an end, for the body of our loved one is still out there lying on the ground.

"All of us came together shoulder-to-shoulder, yet we could not lift him up from the ground. For this is so heavy. It's such a heavy toll, a heavy legacy.

"That's why we are still in search.

"I do know very well that we will not stop without finding it. And I know that we have come very close.

"We will bear our funeral. We will rise him up from where he fell. Not to bury him under the earth, but to sow his seeds as a plane tree of friendship.

"Dearest friends of Hrant, my sisters and brothers,

"Perhaps we have been seeking justice for so long, perhaps our spring came rather late. The promises we made to Hrant are still not fulfilled. However, the blame for this delay belongs neither to the society at large, nor to the oppressed or the others.

"The biggest failure lies with the leaders of the society. Although all the probabilities lay bare, right before our eyes, these leaders do not dare to reach out for them. This is what it is all about. It is all about reaching out and grabbing it. It is all about daring to do it, to show the courage to do it. Yet, we shall not despair. Just as our dear Hrant did, without giving into vengeance, we will embrace hope with wisdom, patience, love, and particularly with resistance.

"We have to find a way out of all these polarisation, vilification, and tension through common sense. In fact, it is quite easy to get out of this seemingly chaotic and complicated situation. There is only one thing to do. To come together. To stand together for democracy.

"We, the women, have the power, faith and courage to do so by taking the lead. Let us first come together and join our forces as women. Let us build an all-women pro-democracy alliance against injustice, all forms of violence, and poverty. Let us clear the path for a society that gasps for air. For how long do we have to wait for this? What else do we expect to happen till then?

"What will unite us is not a leader, not a party, not a saviour, but it is our own hands. Come, let us lend each other a hand and join forces. Let us save the future of our children.

"Otherwise, how will we manage to keep our word to Hrant? How will we be able to gather each year without feeling embarrassed?

"Here is how Gülten Akın called out to hope:

Put away black, replace it with blue, I've not lost my hope.
Call me out, at any moment of my sleep, while I am smiling.
Lend your hand, but only when it is white.
Put away black, replace it with love, I've not lost my hope.
As autumn arrives alongside dark romance.
I hold this restless baby bird in my hand.
You have the arms to hold on to, to rest against.
Stay a little while, a little longer.
Put away black, replace it with blue, don't you take my hope away.

"Dear friends, my sisters and brothers,

"Right over there, in Urfa, Göbeklitepe, there stands a village dating back to twelve thousand years. That is the oldest village of the world, the earliest neighbourhood, the primal home. Who lived there? We do not know. How did they live? We do not know. We do not know about their sufferings, their joy, their fears or dreams.

"If they had lived today, would they call themselves Turk, Armenian or Kurd? We do not know. Which religion would they believe in? Which political party would they vote for? We do not know. There is only one thing we do know for sure about their identity: They were human beings.

"They were the ones who first dug in the ground. They were the ones who first sowed the seeds in Mesopotamia. And then we started coming. From all corners of the aged continent. In dozens, in hundreds, in thousands. We then amounted to millions. Most recently totalled 84 million. And since then, we continue to fight about who owns this land the most. We have been fighting for over a century. For over a thousand year. For over five thousand years.

"Perhaps I have put it as if we were the ones fighting. But in fact, it is the others waging this strife. We are only being beaten up. For this is a fight for possession. A fight for domination and supremacy. A fight for sultanate, seat, ostentation, and power. All we do is to resist it. In order to stay alive. We resist so that we can stay human. We resist for equality, justice, peace, fraternity, and the virtue of labour. And here is what we say. There is nothing in this land that we cannot share among us. This country belongs to all of us. These lands belong to us all. It is possible to live in a righteous, fair, and equal way, and it is soon to happen. We do know this.

"Our four-billion-year-old planet is aged and tired. How did we manage to end up like this in the past twelve thousand years? How did we manage to get so dehumanised? I invite everyone to take a moment and reflect on this. How did we manage to forget all about our shared values, our shared pain, our shared joy? How did we manage to leave these bodies lying on the ground? How did we manage to cause this collective shame?

"Come along, my sisters and brothers, let us join hands. Shoulder-to-shoulder, let us lift up our fallen bodies from the ground. Let us put an end to our shared grief. Let us see that the ones lying on the ground has one single identity: Human Being. Their names may be Hrant, Tahir, Berkin, Ali İsmail, Eren, Ceylan, Yasin, Medeni, Ethem, Uğur, Taybet, Aybüke, Ekrem, yet they are all human beings.

"You shall not fear my sisters and brothers. Hand-in-hand, shoulder-to-shoulder, let us bear our funeral. No one can shoulder all this burden alone. As I have said, this is such a heavy toll. A heavy legacy. Let us invite each other to treasure the reminiscences of our lost ones without surrendering to the darkness of our assassins.

"We can make this happen, my beautiful sisters and brothers. We have to make it happen. We shall pierce through this evil that cling to our bodies like dampness, and we shall forge a sunny, bright future. Our hope is bigger than persecution, because you are here. Because we are here. Because we are millions of people who have sworn the oath of allegiance to freedom. Because we are human beings.

"My beautiful sisters and brothers, let us be courageous and keep our faith. Together, we shall win, we shall certainly win.

"Finally, I would like to end by citing a poem Selahattin wrote from his prison cell.

The ground is shaking beneath our feet.
The skies are shattering.
The earth is expectant of freedom.
It will labour and give us a new birth.

My hands in my pockets, my footsteps ungrateful.
I keep walking light-heartedly in the depths of graveyards.
We have given a word to our deceased.
We have good tidings for our living.

Let the children freezing in the cold are breastfed from the sun.
Let the orphaned lovers reunite.
Blending our labour with love, this is what our struggle is all about.
We will not get a medal decoration on our chest.
At most, we will get a greasy rope noose around our neck.
Perhaps a stray bullet in our back.

We do not have a name, neither a passport.
One will know us from where we fall.
Wildflowers will spring out in our soil.
Or else a poppy, in all its redness.
We are the children of a land who defied persecution.
Here we come, proudly and monumentally.
You see, time is almost up, the ground is shaking beneath our feet.
The skies are shattering.
The earth is expectant of freedom.
It will labour and give us a new birth.

"I salute you all with my warmest regards and deep respect. I pay my tribute to the loving memory of Hrant. Քեզ երբեք պիտի չմոռնանք Հրանդ եղբայր. Em te ji qet bîr nakin birayeminê eziz. I thank you all. Շնորհակալություն. Gelek spas."








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