Writing makes you feel better… – Umar Karatepe*

It has been 13 years since AKP government came to power and the result is a picture as red as blood. They dont have any other scene but this one. Death in the workplace, death in war, death on the streets, death while escaping the country… In this picture, there is nothing but dead bodies.

I told myself “writing makes you feel better”. There is no way for me to explain the distress I experience because of being at one of the farthest points from where the explosion happened. But here I am, trying. Those who died won’t hear me but I am one of those who called all of you to come there that day. I was working in the “kitchen” preparing the “call for action” for the big rally organized by four organizations. That’s why “writing makes me feel better”. Here I go.

Although the rally was going to start at 10 a.m., we were there at two hours early to welcome our comrades coming from other cities. First the Istanbulites showed up; we said “Günaydın”[1] and started to prepare our flags. Later workers from Diyarbakır arrived, saying “Rojbaş”[2]. We greeted each other in every language; embraced one another and hit the road very early. We had the cortege of Confederation of Progressive Labor Unions (DISK) at 9 a.m. at the very point where the blast happened. We hurried to block the way a little earlier in order to lessen the crowd and to stay together in the cortege as the entrance of the train station was getting really crowded. Surprisingly, there was no police to intervene on our hastiness to get our cortege ready as early as possible.Let alone the riot police that is present at every rally, even the undercover police officers who usually walk ahead of the corteges were nowhere to be seen. There was just one traffic police; he grumbled a bit when we arrived early, that’s all. We didn’t listen to his “but it’s early” warnings. Thank God, we didn’t…

We started marching at 9.30 a.m. half an hour earlier than scheduled. Therefore, a considerable section of the group had left the train station. Until 10.04 a.m. we decided to keep a slow pace. Now, it seems that every slowly taken step away from the train station, did get thousands of people closer to life. After that… What happened afterwards has been written about many times; dwelling on it will not make anyone feel good anyway… Though there is one image that haunts my mind is the scene where hundreds of riot police and undercover police commanders, who had been absent thus far, were cursing and running at the same time towards the station…

During the campaign, we were planning to tell not only destruction caused by the AKP, workplace killings (so-called deadly workplace “accidents”), war and fascism; we also wanted to tell what kind of a country we want to live in. On October 10th, in the Sıhhiye Square[3], a colorful square which was going to crowded by workers, laborers, engineers, doctors, women, the young, children, we were going to paint that picture of the country we want to live in. After that, we were going to have the balloons floating in the air.

I am not going to say “But these dreams didn’t come true”. Because this is a struggle. If we have dreams about this country, so do the others.

They painted their version of that picture in front of Ankara Train Station.

They showed their picture of this country by  pulling the pins, tearing into pieces the bodies of those who ask for “Labor-Peace-Democracy”, and by spraying tear gas on our injured friends and doctors who were rendering the first aid.

On October 10th, they exhibited a Turkey they envisioned not only by truncheoning those who could escape with minor injuries but also by mobilizing racism and sectarian hatred against those who died.[4]

Not only by mobilizing the hatred, but also by saying “We cannot arrest the bomber before he/she pulls the pin but we will bring in those commemorating”, they portrayed how they will govern this country.

Not only by attacking our mourning, but also by going “blind” to the suicide bombers known by everyone, they revealed their pledges regarding the future of this country.

Not only by “letting” these murderers, but also by imposing a broadcast ban to prevent the people from having access to the information and to the documents, they painted starkly the picture of the country they wanted.

The 13-year long AKP government has revealed such results and the picture is as red as blood. They don’t have any other scene but this one.

Death in the workplace, death in war, death in the streets, death while escaping the country… In this picture, there is nothing but dead bodies. They think that what will let them off the hook is to polarize us behind these deaths. His dead body, her dead body… Uniformed dead, civil dead… Dead in this sect, dead in that ethnicity… But always the dead.

It is over now. Your murder regime is collapsing… And when will the grieving of millions of people who support the values of October 10th rally and who are spared from death end?  When our unity, solidified with our “blood brotherhood” tears down the dark palaces of your murder regime… And just so you know, it is not far away, not at all…

* Confederation of Progressive Workers’ Unions of Turkey – Media Deparment

[1] Good morning in Turkish

[2] Good morning in Kurdish

[3] This Square was supposed to be the main square of protest. The blasts happened at the beginning point of the rally.

[4] Three days after the blasts, in the Turkish national team’s Euro 2016 Group match, the moment of silence was called for the victims of Ankara massacre. Some of the spectators, broke the silence by booing, whistling and chanting “Allah-u Akbar” (God is Great). For more information, see http://www.todayszaman.com/latest-news_spectators-at-turkey-iceland-match-boo-during-moment-of-silence-for-victims-of-ankara-attack_401467.html

Translated by Eda Sevinin