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In Memory of thousands of persecuted Lives in Turkey

The auction hall is filled to the brim. Visitors are here for a good reason, you can tell from their eyes – generous and valiant members of a “golden” generation…
On display are many items that perhaps do not have a lot of material value, but priceless in meaning. The bids are rising – five hundreds, thousands, five thousands…
“In memory of businessman Turan Bozkaya …”
793 victims who have been identified are being commemorated, for the thousands unidentified.
“In memory of Doctor Rümeysa Berrin Şen …”
A framed piece of calligraphy of an unjustly imprisoned man, who lost the ability to see while inside.
“In memory of 12-year-old Furkan Dizdar …”
A handmade doll made by a valiant woman, who in her 5 years of imprisonment, was not visited by a single person and was not even remembered by her own mother and father.
“In memory of physics teacher Dilek Aksoy…”
A small wooden boat made by a Hizmet volunteer, who was deprived of even her simplest needs while in prison, had requested it from the murderers and thieves in the neighboring cells since materials were freely given to them.
“In memory of journalist Mevlüt Öztaş…”
A kitchen apron, knitted by an oppressed mother, longing for her daughter.
“In memory of classroom teacher Atilla Yalçıntaş…”
A gold-printed relief inscribed with the word “patience” which adorned the room of the most troubled person of the century for years.
“In memory of director Fatih Terzioğlu…”
Pulses are racing at a higher rate after every name. Hearts are broken, eyes are blurred, as tears are rising to the heavens, so are blessings.
“In memory of professor Dr. Haluk Savaş…”


An American friend, a golden soul, comes up to the stage and tells the story of a dear friend of hers, a victim among thousands:
“I want to tell you one story of a friend of mine, a very dear friend, with whom I have been texting for the past four years. She and her husband were teachers in Central Asia. Then she made a trip back to Turkey with her four-year-old son to visit her family. While she was there she was immediately put in jail. Her passport was taken. She was released from jail but put on house arrest. Her husband in Central Asia got word that his life was at risk, so he fled to Europe. She spent the next four years in house arrest in Turkey, while her husband was in Europe trying to gain asylum status. It became unbearable for her. One day she texted me and said: ‘My son is going to see his father.’ I immediately thought ‘O my goodness, what’s happening?’ I asked her what’s going on. She said, ‘I am going to put my son on the plane to go to his father.’ I knew that must mean there’s a lot to the story. Little by little I began to understand she’s found someone to put her on a boat to Greece. And she put her son on an airplane because he had a passport. She didn’t know if she was ever going to see him again. She got on the boat. The boat was losing air as she crossed the river. She was terrified because she doesn’t swim. She got to the other side and then she fell in the water. And she cried out, ‘O my Lord, hear me, please save me!’ And immediately, believe it or not, a golden arm reached into the water and pulled her out. God rescued her from the water.”
“In the memory of teacher Halime Gulsu…”
Then another American friend, the former’s husband, and another golden soul, takes the microphone and summarizes the persecution:
“When the persecution started, I just couldn’t understand why a country would do this to a community within the country that was contributing so much to the life of the country. In English we have an expression: ‘He cut off his nose to spite his face.’ That is, he was angry at his face, so he cut off his nose. But he is only hurting himself. And as I saw things unfolding I thought Turkey is cutting off its nose, because it is angry with its face; and not just its nose but Turkey is cutting off its right arm.”
The arm that was cut off was an arm that was trying to lift the people of the country out of the darkness.
Teachers, doctors, writers at the forefront of their professions and careers… Innocents. With all these qualifications they meet all the requirements to be the victims of the oppression of the current regime…
“In memory of police officer Zekeriya Altınok…”


How similar is the journey of innocents to the story of the most innocent of all:
Years of boycott, starvation and persecution… Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, had lost his closest supports. His uncle, Abu Talib, who had taken care of him since childhood; His beloved wife Khadija (r.a.). Then his attempt for refuge in Taif was thwarted with violence as he was stoned almost to death. As he was engulfed in this “year of sadness,” God opened the heavenly gates for him while one night he was in the bosom of the Ka‘ba, where he took refuge in agony. The archangel Gabriel came down with Buraq, a wondrous steed to take him up to the heavens. Then his heart was purified in a golden bowl and filled with faith and wisdom. He rode Buraq as the heavenly steed leapt in the blink of an eye to Masjid al-Aqsa, a blessed place that would be decorated by a golden dome. And from there he rose higher and higher for a golden journey beyond…
“In memory of Dr. Ibrahim Erkul…”
And once again the heroes are on the stage. The gold-printed relief is presented to American friends who told the story of the golden arm.
Golden souls, dreaming of a golden journey for a “golden generation”…


[On February 24, 2022, Advocates of Silenced Turkey organized a key event called Commemoration for the Persecuted Lives in Turkey and Art Exhibition to honor Turkey’s oppressed and silenced people. In the event, 793 people who innocently died following the unlawful and illegitimate persecutions of the fake July 15 coup attempt in 2016 were commemorated. The event took place in the week of Prophet Muhammad’s pbuh heavenly journey’s (Mi’raj) anniversary in 2022. ]

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Hakan Yesilova
Hakan Yesilova
Hakan Yesilova is the editor of The Fountain Magazine.
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