Cizre, don’t forgive us!
NURCAN BAYSAL 17 February 2016
Everything is happening before our very eyes!
The Kurdish cities of Turkey have been under an unlawful siege and curfew for months. Today, it has been 49 days for Cizre and 61 days for Diyarbakir-Surici since the curfew was declared. People suffer from lack of water, and from hunger. Beneath the roar of tanks, artillery fire and bullets, people took to sheltering in their basements. Thousands of people who are living under this siege can’t reach health or education services. The patients and the wounded can’t reach hospitals.
After a howitzer attack on one house in Cizre, people took shelter in the basement. Wounded among them, people have been fighting for their lives for 8 days in this basement. Six out of 25 wounded, have lost their lives. And we weren’t able to send an ambulance.
Whenever the ambulance arrives, they end up opening fire at the vehicle. Government officials try to make the public believe their nonsense statements: there might not be wounded people in the basement after all! Later on they make a statement alleging that when the ambulances went there, it was the Patriotic Revolutionary Youth Movement (YDG-H) who opened fire. Nobody asks who those are in the basement, or why the Patriotic Revolutionary Youth Movement (YDG-H) would open fıre on an ambulance which comes to pick up those wounded people. Government always lies through its teeth. However, what Government should do is quite simple. Let them recall their special teams, which pick people off randomly. Then the mothers of Cizre, who are beating their breasts just a few hundred metres away, can take their children away from the firefight without an ambulance helping them.
There isn’t even water for the wounded
Only a few hundred metres away from the wounded, mothers strive to hear from their children. A mother’s cry for Mehmet Yavuzel, one of the wounded, and a member of the Democratic Party of Regions (DBP0, reached me via social media. She heard her son’s voice on TV; he was one of the wounded waiting for an ambulance for 8 days. She beats her chest in despair, and cries out “Let me sacrifice myself for all of you.”
We are face to face with a mentality that insults, distorts the facts, lies, and massacres its people, destroys their graves, and even tortures dead bodies whenever possible.
In that basement, there are people who only want some water to drink. We are talking about one glass of water! Whoever they are, these people at death’s gate. “I say water Heval (my friend), water!”
We have taken a journey from an old slogan, “There is no Kurdish issue”, to “There is no water for Kurds” now.
Our children are in a basement without water!
Our children are wounded in a basement!
Our children are hopeless in a basement!
Our children are in a basement, waiting for us to go and treat their wounds.
Our children are about to die in a basement!
Our children only want a glass of water in a basement!
Writing this message, I receive news about a fifteen year old, Sultan Irmak, who has just died of his wounds there. A child dying there in agony and crying for water.
We have all watched this violence and are still watching. Those, who have the power, are defeated… They created a society the way they wanted it to be. Fear, apathy, and unfairness surround the people. We fail to break the curfew, which has lasted more than 60 days in my homeland, Sur. We have been unable to retrieve the bodies of the youngsters who were left on the ground for days. We weren’t able to get through enough demands for Cizre for instance; we weren’t able to stand the barrage of tankfire and guns to reach that basement. And, we weren’t able to pull away the wounded from that basement of inhumanity.
Kurdish people find themselves face to face with an injustice without end. The government carries on warfare not only with its tanks and guns but also with a vicious psychological war by every means available. There, dead bodies are left on the ground; we watch the wounded approaching ever nearer death as in a scene from a movie. Graveyards are bombed, dead bodies are tortured and dismembered. People are forced to migrate. Mothers can’t provide even water for their children. And our country maintains a total silence under these conditions.
Shame on all of us!
In those basements, not just those youngsters’ hearts, but our homeland’s heart is buried.
Cizre, don’t forgive us.
*As published in Open Democracy https://www.opendemocracy.net/nurcan-baysal/cizre-don-t-forgive-us