We Will Not Forget the Sivas Massacre

 

sivas2Twenty years ago, an inhumane massacre took place that targeted the mostly Alevi intellectuals, writers and artists who were staying at Madimak Hotel in Sivas for the Pir Sultan Abdal Festival.

Sivas Massacre represents only one of the many massacres that peoples from various ethnicities and beliefs both in Anatolia and Mesopotamia were targeted by. The massacres of Dersim, Kocgiri, Malatya, Ortaca, Maras, Corum, Gazi and lastly Gezi were all plotted by the same efforts to rid peoples’ identities from the society. This massacre of 1993 that left 35 people dead took its place in history among the many mass murders that targeted the Alevi population.

The monist ideology and its political representatives made use of state forces to bring this plot to action. The massacre of Sivas has not come to light despite the over twenty years that has passed ever since. Many of the murderers were not captured, the judiciary process was prolonged and those guilty were shielded. The AKP government did not bring any new evidence into light either. The Prime Minister himself stated that the decision to acquit the suspects of the massacre was a “righteous, fitting and fortunate” one.

The Alevi population’s demand to transform the Hotel into a Museum of Shame has been denied for years. No respect was paid to the grieving families and to the pain in our peoples’ hearts. The AKP government not only neglected the Alevi population’s demand for equal citizenship but also paved the way for an increase in injustice and discrimination among our peoples.

Nor any official apology has been released neither any prosecution has been made to bring the role of state in the massacre to justice. Despite the twenty years that passed ever since, neither our agony nor our anger has worn off, as justice has not been served yet. We know for a fact that for as long a massacre is not confronted, peoples’ hundreds of year long pain cannot be eased. It is of utmost importance that a Truth and Reconciliation Commission be formed to confront the massacres of our country’s past.

Both Sivas and Roboski massacres cannot be perceived separately from the state-led neglecting and assimilation policies against the Alevi and Kurdish populations in Turkey.

Only through a united struggle for a democratic and equal future can the peoples of Turkey of different ethnicities and religious beliefs achieve peace and reconciliation.

HDP respectfully mourns those we lost 21 years ago and condemns the Sivas Massacre once again.

HDP Central Executive Committee
July 1, 2014

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