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Once again, Deniz Poyraz’ life shows us that geog­ra­phy is des­tiny. Deniz was a young Kur­dish woman who held free­dom as an ide­al and resist­ed in hope, despite the oppres­sion and the vio­lence expe­ri­enced both as a fam­i­ly and as a people.

We come to know her after she has been base­ly ripped away from life. Her fam­i­ly, her com­rades, the oth­er gal­ley slaves of the HDP Par­ty knew Deniz much better

deniz poyraz

Giv­ing Deniz’ life sto­ry isn’t very dif­fi­cult, sim­ply by going through the pho­tos she left behind. In fact, one in par­tic­u­lar, sum­ma­rizes her entire story.

In her hands, she holds the pho­to of Dilan Kor­tak whose life was stolen by State bul­lets, at the same age as was Deniz… She is at the front row of a pro­ces­sion, in front of the flags of rev­o­lu­tion­ary orga­ni­za­tions, with the kesk sor u zer 1scarf around her neck, tears stream­ing down her face, she march­es hold­ing the pho­to of Dilan who is stub­born­ly smil­ing to life, just as she is.

Head­line pho­to: Deniz Poyraz, at Dilan Kor­tak’s funer­al. Behind her on the left, Hase Bingöl Tekin, Co-pres­i­dent of YAK-DER 2 and on her right Dilek Aykan, Izmir HDP CO-pres­i­dent at the time. Decem­ber 2015.

Dilan Kor­tak lost her life  to police bul­lets on Decem­ber 7 2015 dur­ing a raid on her fam­i­ly home in the San­cak­te­pe neigh­bor­hood of Istan­bul. We Kurds, those mil­lions who are con­vinced that peo­ples can live togeth­er in peace and dig­ni­ty and who fight for this, we had expe­ri­enced a great hap­pi­ness with the elec­toral vic­to­ry on June 7 2015. Do you remember?

In the Turk­ish Repub­lic, the State records every hap­pi­ness of the Dilans, the Agis, the Sores, the Zilans and all the Deniz’ and then, robs them of their life, ask­ing them “how can you still be hap­py and filled with hope?” And even if we know this full well, we wished to for­get, and con­tin­ue to wish it.

March­ing there with tears for Dilan Kor­tak, Deniz had no way of know­ing that the same fate await­ed her…

The Kor­tak fam­i­ly, just like the Poyraz fam­i­ly in the 90s left the vil­lage of Berti (Kocakuyu) of Ömer­li, in the dis­trict of Mardin and went into exile in Izmir. When Dilan Kor­tak turned 18 she took her father aside and said: “Father, I am now 18 years old. Don’t call me ‘my child’ any­more, call me ‘heval’ 3from now on”.

Every Kurd liv­ing with­in the bor­ders of the Repub­lic of Turkey who wish­es, out of a sense of dig­ni­ty, to be called “heval”, who does not sub­mit to the sys­tem and choos­es to strug­gle for the peo­ple’s free­dom knows that a day will come when tor­ture, police sta­tions, pris­ons, State bul­lets will find him or her, but goes on liv­ing with­out turn­ing this into an obsession.

He/she lives with the dream of bring­ing peace to this coun­try, along with all the oth­er dig­ni­fied and resis­tant per­sons on the same lands. “If not “today”, then “tomor­row”, and if he/she was deprived of a child­hood, his/her chil­dren will have one. This is pre­cise­ly the ide­al that makes them so proud, so resis­tant and with such a fight­ing spirit.

Fehime Poyraz, Deniz moth­er, who is a part of this same strug­gle says: “When I was tak­en into cus­tody 25 years ago, the State asked me ‘why did you pro­duce so many chil­dren? Then, they impris­oned three of my chil­dren. They also took my Deniz from me.”

A brief sur­vey of what Deniz lived through, of what her fam­i­ly has endured, and all the poli­cies of the Turk­ish State against the Kurds  appear. And as for Dilan, we know very well who were Deniz’ assas­sins.  This con­tem­po­rary Dehak 4 who has built him­self a throne out of the blood of the Kur­dish peo­ple, do you see him? The “Nation­al” leader,  “native son of Rize”, so tall and so short  on courage.

Do you remem­ber? This “nation­al” and “native son” leader howled in 2006, his face red with resent­ment and anger, with traces of hatred on his fore­head: “No mat­ter if they are women or chil­dren, what must be done will be done!” and the more he howled, the more Kur­dish women and Kur­dish chil­dren died.

deniz poyraz

Deniz’ cas­ket wrapped in pur­ple, cov­ered with flow­ers, car­ried by women…

Those who pull trig­gers are set off by him and his asso­ciate through great dis­plays show­ing all the macho attrib­ut­es of a state in the most ugly and basic con­di­tion of putre­fac­tion, with the Coran on their head, Turk­ish flags in their hand, their hearts filled with anger and hatred, and every day, they go on tak­ing away our lives.

Remem­ber the trig­ger dis­played by the police­men who took self­ies cel­e­brat­ing Hrant’s assas­si­na­tion? In Izmir, anoth­er trig­ger who shared the same “nation­al feel­ings” deprived a young Kur­dish woman of her life. Her broth­er says to the police­men hold­ing him, “let me be, I have cooled my heart.” 

Those who raise those who pull trig­gers do not con­tribute any­thing to life, they are noth­ing but par­a­sites who oth­ers push into the streets, the two State Reis, Tayyip Erdoğan and Devlet Bahçeli.

Berkin Elvan, Mazlum Akay, Doğan Tey­boğa, Umut Furkan Akçil, Ahmet İmre, Enver Turan, Canan Saldık, Birem Basan, Oğuz­can Akyürek, İzzettin Boz, Mehmet Nuri, Cey­lan Önkol, Uğur Kay­maz, Dilan Kor­tak, Kemal Kurkut,… Deniz Poyraz, these are our young women and chil­dren of whom the Repub­lic of Turkey  is the assassin!

We have a debt toward them. We have a debt of peace, for all the chil­dren run­ning in the streets of this coun­try, we have the debt of a life, to Deniz Poyraz!


Translation by Renée Lucie Bourges
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Ercan Jan Aktaş
Objecteur de con­science, auteur et jour­nal­iste exilé en France. Vic­dan retçisi, yazar, gazete­ci. Şu anda Fransa’da sürgünde bulunuy­or. Con­sci­en­tious objec­tor, author and jour­nal­ist exiled in France.