27/10/2015 | Writer: Gökhan C.

At the first session of symposium of ‘’Dying As The Other’’, academicians discussed the practices directed to dead bodies of the others by majority, public force and social institutions such as family.

At the first session of symposium of ‘’Dying As The Other’’, academicians discussed the practices directed to dead bodies of the others by majority, public force and social institutions such as family.

The symposium of ‘’Our Lost Ones and Us // Dying As The Other ‘’ organized by Kaos GL Association, Hacı Bektaş Veli Anatolian Cultural Association which is a corner stone association representing Alevism in Turkey and People’s Bridge Association was held in İzmir İsmet İnönü Culture and Art Center.

Prof. Dr. Ayhan Yalçınkaya from the Department of Political Science of Ankara University, started the presentation by reminding the ‘’ About Dying ’’ poem by famous Turkish poet, Nazım Hikmet Ran. Yalçınkaya who portrayed the highlight of symposium, said ‘’ the body of transsexual who works for a living when alive, becomes a threat at death. This comes and goes like this, by capturing the dead bodies.’’

Call of ‘‘Facing with Each Other’’

Yalçınkaya expressed the important parts of the symposium by these words: ‘’ First time, the Alevi movement, Kaos GL Association and People’s Bridge Association came together. Those three damned fractions have to get rid of their damn by cooperation.’’

By reminding the lost ones at Ankara Bombing, ‘’ There is no place for death in Alevism but cycle.Let there be eternity for all of us.’’ Rather than standing in silence, Yalçınkaya continued his speech with Call of ‘Facing with Each Other’’.

‘’The ones killed at Ankara Bombing, 1915,Rums, 5-6th September, the ones killed in Dersim, Maraş, Sivas, the slaughtered transsexuals and homosexuals bloodthirstily , all waiting in vain and asking for freedom. We cannot get freedom if we don’t face with each other. Again, if we don’t exchange our consent between each other, we cannot achieve freedom. Without standing up, I’m calling you to face with each other.’’

Yalçınkaya who reminded the things done to dead body of Hacı Lokman Birlik and blocking off the body of Aziz Güler who fallen in Rojava, said ‘’ The main thing that is wanted to be destroyed by things done to our dead bodies, is our humanity.’’

‘’Respect to dead body isn’t a positive principle’’

After Yalçınkaya’s speech, Prof.Dr.Gökçen Alpkaya from Faculty of Political Science of Ankara University, presented the opening speech. By reminding the Sophocles’ play called Antigone, ‘’Antigone stood against the King’s order and buried his brother by performing the eternal and unwritten codes given him by Gods. That’s the point where International Human Rights flourished.’’ Alpkaya said.

‘’Aren’t our lost ones unique things that connect us to past and the future which we don’t know what we are?’’ said Alpkaya who asked this question and said there is not even a single law dealing with the respect to dead bodies and added ‘’Respect to dead body isn’t a positive principle in terms of constitutional societies.’’

Alpkaya, to emphasizing the importance of this issue, said this should be included in the category of crimes against the honour.

In the ‘’How Do They Live’’ section of the symposium,  under the moderation of Ayhan Yalçınkaya, Dr.Abdurrahman Aydın from Department of Philosophy of Adıyaman University, Psychologist Dr.Türkcan Baykal and Selçuk Candansayar  from Gazi University who is a member of Kaos GL Association Consultative Committee, they spoke.

‘’Dead body is being jammed to an unknown region between life and death’’

Dr.Abdurrahman Aydın said that he had started working with such questions such as ‘’Why this government oppressing dead bodies? How and Why the genitals of guerillas are being attacked?’’ He added by focusing the effects on the living ones at this issue:

‘’Those attacks to dead bodies block mourning of living ones. Government deals with the funeral of a guerilla and does anytime to bury it against to ritual. Government jams the dead body to an unknown region between life and death. So, living ones are also jammed in there and can’t mourn. Mourning is the process of sending the dead to other side and continuing life as it is. Mourning replaces with melancholy when rituals are blocked. Mourning can cure the pain but melancholy extends it.’’

‘’The factors making mourning becloud’’

After Aydın, Dr.Türkcan Baykal continued the speech by mentioning the history of first dead rituals in Naenderthal era, he said ‘’ Mourning is an essential need to continue to life. I believe that mourning is a right that we need to give ourselves. In archaeological excavations, we see that it’s done according to clan’s rights, even in the first primitive graves. Death rituals are not only for an individual but for a community to ease the process of mourning.’’

Baykal listed the factors which makes mourning becloud or delays the repair time of community: ‘’Unknown death reasons, incomprehensible deaths, tyrannical deaths, previous traumas of community, not being able to reach dead body, no place for grave.’’

‘’State terror proceeds by attacking funeral’’

Baykal also stated that all factors he implied, happen too fast and frequently in Turkey:

‘’ The majority of the death reasons are man-made. All designs and explanations get broken. Attacks to our lost ones and death rituals are common. All of these contain a message for the targeted group and others. Not only the targeted group but also whole community is being tried to be feared, terrorized. State terror proceeds just like this. State not also tyrannizes but also feeds himself like this to legalize it.’’

‘’We can’t continue if we can’t bid farewell’’

Session ended with the speech of Prof.Dr.Selçuk Candansayar. Candansayar who said that we are the only species that continue to life by knowing the pending death at the end, emphasized one of the major factors of anxiety such as, the unknown after the death.

Candansayar said that the things done are only for the living ones:

‘’A mother still thinks her son is alive when she cannot find his body. It lets her to continue life and not being able to continue, at the same time. We cannot continue to live if we cannot see of them. We stay like this. It doesn’t matter if it’s a cremation or burying. We have to get in contact with them. It might be different in various political, religious communities but the significant point is how we bid farewell to them.’’

‘’Government fears from, we dying as us’’

‘’We talked about what state is doing but why they are doing this? Why they are cursing the funeral of Berkin Elvan in fear? Government fears so much when we die as us. We are showing them we can die without them.  It’s a scary situation for the state. Think about a transsexual body coming to Gasilhane. The way that she lives the life and the way that she dies, spreads fear to state. They are trying to oppress us because of their fear.’’

By attacking the body of her, state tells us that ‘’ I deny the fact that you lived against my norms, I deny the fact that you died against my norms.’’ The attacks to PKK graveyards also contain this message. Just as when we are trying to communize our mourning, they are attacking graveyards to block it, blocking an Alevi to go like an Alevi.

‘’Shall we go where they say or shall we mourn?’’

‘’What we are going to do when they are trying to attack us to out of humanity? How should we remember our lost ones? As a ruptured body behind a police vehicle? Shouldn’t we get furious when we see their fear? What we are going to do with this wrath? Shall we be what they are trying to turn us to be or shall we say ‘’we do it in our way?’’

The Symposium, under the title of ‘’How we are living’’ will continue with the participation of Ercan Geçmez from Hacı Bektaş Veli Anatolian Cultural Association, Ali Erol from Kaos GL Association, and Zeynep Altın from People’ Bridge Association.

Tags: life