Remembering the Maras Massacre in 1978

According to official numbers, 111 people, mostly Alevis, died in the Maras Massacre from 19 to 25 December 1978. The ÖDP has called on Turkey to face up to its history. İstanbul - Bıa news centre 26 December 2007, Wednesday Önder Isleyen, vice chairperson of the Freedom and Solidarity Party (ÖDP) said in a statement: "The Maras massacre caused great pain. And just as importantly, the process which started with the massace started the open fascism of Turkey's 12 September [military coup in 1980]." "Just as people were attacked in Maras for being Alevi, now people's doors are being marked, their workplaces looted for being Kurdish, and campaigns to stop people from buying from Kurds are being started." "As long as Turkey does not face up to these massacres, there can be no real democratisation in the country. Remembering Maras today means to stand against the darkness this country is being dragged into, against those wanting to create new Maras incidents, and to stand for peace, brotherhood and peaceful coexistence."

Incitement to hatred
Turan Eser, president of the Alevi Bektasi Federation, spoke at the 29th anniversary of the massacre in Maras, in which at least 111 people were killed, most of them Alevi. He claimed that before the events, "counter guerrilla and racist paramilitary imperialist henchmen made efforts to spread the seeds of hatred between those who were citizens of the same country and had lived together in peace for centuries." The federation added that those responsible for the massacre, witnessed by the world, were never adequately punished and that governments have avoided facing up to this responsibility.

Witnesses to the massacre
Seyho Demir: "The Maras Police Chief at the time was Abdülkadir Aksu, Minister of the Interior in the last AKP government. The massacre was organised by MIT (the Turkish secret service), the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the Islamists together... As soon as I heard about the massacre, I went to Maras. In the morning I went to Maras State Hospital. There I met a nurse I knew...When she saw me, she was surprised: 'Seyho, where have you come from? They are killing everyone here. They have taken at least ten lightly-wounded people from the hospital downstairs and killed them.' This was done under the control of the head physician of the Maras State Hospital. Everyone knows that such a big massacre cannot be carried out without state involvement. In the Yörükselim neighbourhood they cut a pregnant woman open with a bayonet. They took out the eight-month foetus, shouting "Allah Allah" and hung it from an electricity pole with a hook. The pictures of that savagery were published in the newspapers that day. The

lawyer Halil Güllüoglu followed the Maras massacre case. The files he had were never made public. He was killed for pursuing the case anyway. Let them make those files public, then the role of the state will become clear." Meryem Polat: "They started in the morning, burning all the houses, and continued into the afternoon. A child was burned in a boiler. They sacked everything. We were in the water in the cellar, above us were wooden boards. The boards were burning and falling on top of us. My house was reduced to ashes. We were eight people in the cellar; they did not see us and left."(EZÖ/TK/AG)

Alevite Meeting For The Still Unsolved Maraş Massacre
Thousands of Alevites met in Adana and demanded the prosecution of the perpetrators of the 30 year old Maraş massacre. They sent their questions about the massacre to the President.
Adana - BÄ°A News Center 22 December 2008, Monday

Thousands of Alevites were at the meeting held at Adana by the Pir Sultan Abdal Culture Association (PSBKD) for the thirtieth anniversary of the Maraş massacre, where Alevites women, men and children were massacred by the fascist-sunnite majority. The participants, who had come from the provinces of Adıyaman, Malatya, Sivas, Ankara, Istanbul and Izmir, demanded the opening of state’s secret archives and the prosecution of the real perpetrators of the massacre.

“We had trusted the state”
Metin Çelik, President of PSBKD’s Adana branch and one of those in the organizing committee, said, “We had trusted the state, we carry its identity cards but those identity cards were burned at Maraş thirty years ago.” Çelik said they were having these meetings to bring the perpetrators of the massacre to justice. Ali Balkız, President of the Alevite Bektashi Federation (ABF), said that they did and will not forget the events that took place at Maraş thity years ago. Balkız also said that they made a demand regarding the dismissal of the Sivas massacre case for the statue of limitations at the hearing in Ankara last week.

“The Alevite history is the history of massacres”

Fevzi Gümüş, PSAKD’s president, said, “Trying to cover the Maraş massacre is a sin, a crime against humanity. The Maraş massacre is another Karbala in the history of Alevites. Maraş massacre is a wound that still bleeds within ourselves after thirty years as Karbala still does after centuries; for the perpetrators of Maraş are still not tried, like the perpetrators of May Day of 1977, Sivas, Çorum and Gazi are not.” Stating that the Alevite history was the history of massacres, Turgut Öker, President of the Confederation of the European Alevite Associations, said, “We are never going to relive more Maraş and Madımak massacres, because we are more organized now.” The meeting ended with a concert by an artist, Ozan Emekçi, who had lost his close ones in the massacre. Many organizations such as the Revolutionary Confederation of the Trade Unions (DİSK), the Confederation of Public Employees Trade Unions (KESK), the Turkish Union of Chambers of Engineers and Architects (TMMOB), the Democratic Society Party (DTP), the People’s Houses, the Democratic Rights Federation and many local associations were at the meeting.

Thirteen questions to the President regarding the Maraş
The Platform Against Coups asked President Abdullah Gül thirteen questions about the Maraş massacre in its 30th anniversary: if the CIA agent Paul Henze had meetings in Maraş before the events, why was the report that was prepared after the massacre not made public, who were the four agents from the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) who participated in the events in Maraş and appeared in the archive of Ecevit, one of the former prime ministers, what was done about police officer Hasan Aydın who bombed the Çiçek movie theater. (BÇ/TB)

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