Lütuf ya da yük değil artik
Bir göğün birakilmasi gibi
Ve genişliği bozkirin
Bozkirda eksik kalan yaratilma.
Burden or grace no more.
You were deserted
like a sky abandoned.
The spaciousness of the steppe
and creation missing in the steppe.
– From the poem Senin Birakilman in How Abraham Abandoned Me by Bejan Matur and translated by Ruth Christie with Selçuk Berlingen.
In pursuit of a current recidivist Turkish political will to direct and control a systematic ethnic genocide of the Kurdish people, who in many cases in eastern and south eastern Turkey in particular, ironically occupied the suddenly abandoned lands of the Armenian people, who were subjected to previous genocide in 1915 by a former Turkish political will. This recurrent fault line in Turkish polity renders the aspirations and rights of individuals and of peoples to a similar fate as much as the seismic shifting of tectonic plates under Iznik and Istanbul.
The malignant will of the Turkish state has sundered the life of Ebru Timtik, a 42 year-old Kurdish lawyer, who died after a hunger strike lasting 238 days. She had initiated the hunger strike in January 2020 in pursuit of a fair trial following her arrest and detention in September 2017 and conviction and sentencing to 13.5 years in jail at a trial conducted in March 2019; a trial conducted without process, without hope and without justice.
Ebru her first name, derives from the word for "cloud" but is also a word that means marbling, a Persian and then Ottoman process of painting on water and then transferring that painting to paper. As all our lives show, the patterns although planned have a will of their own. Marbling is also I suppose a signpost of death, a mile marker on the path from mortality to immortality.
To be a martyr ( Gr: martys; Syriac: sāhdā; Arabic: shahīd [s.] shuhadā [pl.];Kurdish: şehîd) means to be a “witness” . In Islamic law shāhid “to witness” is also the paramount medium of legal evidence. Ebru Timtik is such a shahīd who tried to give witness, shāhid, to the injustice of the state.
I would prefer to think of her as one of the shuhadā’ al-ghurba, as one of the “martyrs who die far from home”.
Even in a State of which she was a citizen, she died far from home in a foreign land that was her land, denied justice and fairness and life by that State.
Note: Bejan Matur is Turkey's premier poet, a Kurd and also a lawyer. Her book of poems from which a part poem is used above is published by Arc Publications 2012 (www.arcpublications.co.uk)