Sunday, February 24, 2008


Traditionally we use henna in three events: put henna on a lamb meaning to sacrifice to God, put henna on the bride before marriage to bring prosperity and acknowledge the sacrifice of the family, and put henna on the son being sent to the military to represent the sacrifice for the motherland. They are sent to their units with ceremonies, drums and pipes, folk dances and songs, and national marches. In a way, all of these show the inner acceptance of the possibility they may not come back alive.

Kurdistan Observer writes;

"Kurdish Freedom Fighters say Have Bodies of 15 of 22 Turkish Troops

“ZAKHU, Southern Kurdistan, - Kurdish PKK guerrillas said on Saturday they had recovered the bodies of 15 of the 22 Turkish soldiers they say they have killed in clashes since Turkey launched an offensive against them. The guerrillas had also begun planning reprisal attacks on Turkish soil, a spokesman for the separatist Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) said.

"There are 22 Turkish soldiers that have been killed and our soldiers have the bodies of 15," Ahmed Danees, head of foreign relations for the PKK, told Reuters by telephone, adding they would soon release the names of those killed."

Turkish media writes;

"Families mourn as bodies of soldiers flown home..

"The devastated families of soldiers martyred on the first day of a ground offensive into northern Iraq against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) yesterday waited for their fallen sons to be brought home. Five soldiers lost their lives during the operation, the biggest land incursion into Iraq to hit PKK targets in a decade, the military announced on Friday night. “Twenty-four terrorists were killed and many others were wounded. It is estimated that at least 20 more terrorists were rendered ineffective by artillery and helicopter gunships,” the military said.....
"The parents and brothers of Sgt. Yasin Keyvanoğlu were hospitalized in the central Anatolian city of Çorum after they received news the young man was among the five soldiers killed in Iraq. “He never planned to marry. For him, serving the homeland came above all else,” said father Seyfi Keyvanoğlu of his son, who had spent the past eight years in the army.

"In the central Anatolian city of Konya, father Abdullah Kemer recounted his last phone conversation with his son, Sgt. Selam Kemer, on Feb. 19. “He did not tell us anything about the operation. He only said he would send his latest photos. We got them two days ago,” said the mourning father. “I’m proud of my son. He was martyred for the fatherland.” Sgt. Kemer had been with the army for nearly five years."

Whatever the PKK ethnic nationalists say, it is not possible for Turkish Army to hide the number of causalties from Turkish public (they reached 15). Ethnic nationalism is "ethnic nationalism", whether it is for Turkish or Kurdish it’s danger don’t differ. And, ask yourself, what kind of a freedom fighter can carry the bodies of the 19-20 years old soldiers they murdered with them. Though we wrote yesterday; they are "All our sons, Not numbers", seems like terror can't see those lifes behind numbers...

Regardless of their religion or ethnicity all male Turkish citizens have to serve in the military for a certain period. Not only the culture but also the Turkish constitution defines "fallen soldiers" / "martyrs" with high regard. According to law a "martyr" is one "who dies under direct fire or is wounded and dies because of these wounds during war. Or the one who is behind the front but dies because of enemy fire, or is wounded and dies during treatment. Who dies immediately or is wounded and dies because of the wound during National Security duty, fighting against terror or anarchy, protecting the borders, etc..."

As may be seen, "defending the nation / country" is essential. The religion and beliefs of these soldiers may have great importance in their determination and heroism individually, but what they go to die for is "motherland." Martyrdom is highly regarded not only for our own people, but for all regardless of their nation or religion. A good example of this cultural acceptance is the martyrdom monuments for many nations built in the Gallipoli area (more than 30 cemeteries and memorials).

The day before, a new age group sent with ceremonies to their term of military service. Not only the young men but families were so strong too. Some TV channals tried to talk with mothers, fathers who came to farewell their sons. There was no single teardrop but reflection of honor, how proud they feel sending their sons to defend the country, although their hearts were burning with the fire of the possibility of loosing them.

One day the door may knock by three officers (one psychologist) to give the news of their son's matryrdom, his coffin may came covered with Turkish flag. Or there might be no knocking doors but their sons may declared lost, it may not be possible even reach to bodies or wait coffins.

Can there be greater pain? It is not easy to answer. But there is something greater than that pain; "acceptance" and "determination". If they can stand that pain, it is that acceptance and determination from the begining what helps the consolation.

Turkiye is not aiming to invade anyone's land. Turkiye only wants to stop the terrorism. Citizens of this country is fed up with terrorism. Every logical one should be aware of Kurdish problem and know it’s solution can’t find with armed conflicts. Terrorists announce with their own words how / what they plan in main cities, target civilians (dozens, may be hundreds but mainly in numbers again). Whatever the foreign media delivers PKK don’t and can't represents all Kurds.

We lived the Diyarbakır bombing which burned our youngsters’ only 2 months ego. We are living under threats of suicide or various kinds of bombings. When we wake up, we can not be sure what the day may bring, if all the family members may turn home alive.

So, what if they have bodies of soldiers, our sons they murdered? So, what if there are more bodies of terrorists (who are also our sons) which army didn't find and announced yet? What if we will loose more? We already know, aware and accepted to loose much more sons and daughters, to welcome much more coffins.

War is the plague imperialism feed from. Who knows how many international groups’, corporations’ benefits, plans lies behind the news we are reading about the wars which takes our children’s lives… We already lost tens of thousands, generations; can we save at least next generations…

If there is a price to pay; we already paid more than enough and ready to pay much more. If only we can manage not to play on the tunes of imperialism any more... If only some can cease from counting our sons and daughters only as numbers any more...

For us? They have never been numbers. They are the lads we sent with henna in their palms and their names carved in our hearts...

Don't your hearts ache for every life lost in wars, who ever they are; civilians or your soldiers or terrorists...

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