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Grief-Stricken Letter from Wife of Torture Victim Gökhan Açıkkollu Meets Poignant Song ’13th Night’: His Legacy Echoes Worldwide

The letter written by Gökhan Açıkkollu’s wife, Tülay Açıkkollu, to her husband, met with the song “13th Night” by the beloved artist Suvari Öztürk, following the death of the teacher who lost his life due to torture he experienced at the Vatan Security!

Tülay Açıkkollu reads the letter she wrote to her late husband on Suvari Öztürk’s YouTube channel.

In the letter, Tülay Açıkkollu shares her recent experiences:

You’re gone!

Because we haven’t stopped pursuing those who took you from us through torture, a lawsuit has been filed against me. We had to leave the country with our children. We added exile to this much pain.

You’re gone… Our son is studying computer engineering at one of the finest universities in Europe. Our daughter will start high school. They achieved great success in a short time. Just as you always wanted.

You’re gone… Your name echoed throughout the world, documentaries were made about you, songs were written in your honor. Your broken glasses became a symbol of oppression. You sacrificed yourself to protect your friends…

Do you know what they said when you were gone in the detention center?

When Gökhan passed away, the tortures at Vatan Security stopped for a while, and we could catch our breath.

You’re gone… Our life became so difficult too!

I feel even more pain because I can’t witness the success of our children, and the bittersweet happiness they’ll experience without their father haunts my imagination, adding to my sorrow.

You won’t be there when they are at home, you won’t get to experience the joy of being a grandparent. I keep imagining scenarios in my mind, and the pain multiplies.

You’re gone…

You became a martyr just as you dreamt, just as you prayed…

You were buried in the cemetery where you said, “Wash me in the rains of my village, bury me here…”


Teacher Gökhan Açıkkollu, who was under a statutory decree (KHK), lost his life on August 5, 2016, due to the torture he experienced at Istanbul Police Department after being taken into custody following the events of July 15. His family filed a complaint against the torturers, but the investigation concluded with a decision of “no need for prosecution.” Açıkkollu was reinstated to his position 19 months after his death!

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