GeriGündem Ertugrul Ozkok: My throat constricts thinking about Malatya
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Ertugrul Ozkok: My throat constricts thinking about Malatya

Are you prepared to hear a painful truth? If so, let me begin. The events which occured two days ago in Malatya are Turkey's "collective responsibility."

There are those from among our ranks, in fact even people who we may see as very close, who hold responsibility in this despicable murder.
 
The murder in Malatya was Turkey's "red Monday."
 
These were murders everyone knew about in advance. So no one should call it a "Hizbullah" murder, and be quick to wash their hands of it. Because this murder was actually declared in advance.

* * *

We have all watched the campaigns carried out against the handful of people selling Bibles, or gathering in makeshift churches. No one has said anything about these campaigns; but people who we least expected became involved as agents of provocation in all this. Open your newspapers. Take a look at the debates broadcast on local TV stations. Is it really just the religious factions who are involved? Or is it the politicians who we have known for years as the "social democrats" and the "democratic left"? What about the accusations made about "misssionary activities," made in front of masses gathered to defend secularity, made with the sole intent of harming this administration?
 
* * *

The murder in Malatya is a byproduct of our collective lack of comprehension, our inability to see what is going on. What I mean to say is, while there is only one handful of actual murderers involved, there are many, many assistants. Just wait. If we continue with this mentality, in a while, attacks against foreigners buying homes here will start. We will of course offer up the usual excuses: "a few thugs," "Hizbullah operatives," etc., etc..
 
We will ignore the provocative comments made in city squares by politicians, comments about "missionary trade." Acually, we won't ignore these comments, we will applaud them.
I won't list the names of the people leading these provocations-it'll only start a polemic, and we all know who they are anyway. But what I want to do is call on the level headed members of the Turkish society; just think about this:

 
In Germany, Turks residing there have opened up more than 3,000 mosques. If in our country we cannot abide even by a few churches, or a handful of missionaries, where is our civilization? Where is our humanity, our freedom of belief, our beautiful religion?

* * *

Looking at the photographs of the murders yesterday, a funeral service I attended last year in Germany in a little town there came to my mind. It was a funeral for the mother of one of the wealthiest businessmen in Germany. Ten meters from the gravesite we stood at was another gravesite, decorated a star and crescent. It was a Turkish grave. Near the cemetray was a little mosque. With its tin minaret, it looked out boldly over that beautiful little German town, displaying an entirely different sort of aesthetic. Not a single person in that town had attacked that mosque. No one had tried to cut the throat of anyone who attended that mosque. So I say, if Islam is a humanistic religion, none of us should forget what happened in Malatya.

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