Sendika.Org takes a look at the stories of the 100 people to lose their lives in the 10 October Ankara Massacre
From 9-year-old Veysel Atılgan to 70-year-old Meryem Bulut and from Artvin to Istanbul to Diyarbakır, those murdered in the 10 October Ankara Massacre included men, women and children from the four corners of the country who had descended on the Turkish capital to demand peace.
One hundred people were cut down in front of Ankara’s Train Station at 10.04 a.m., leaving behind grieving loved ones and dreams of a better future. With thanks in part to Alınteri, Bianet, BTS, Eğitim-Sen, CHP, Halkevleri and the HDP, Sendika.Org has compiled stories on each of the 100 comrades that Turkey lost on 10 October.
- Abdullah Erol
Abdullah Erol was a Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) candidate for the Black Sea province of Giresun who had previously been involved in work for the Human Rights Association (İHD), Amnesty International’s Diyarbakır branch, as well as other organizations focusing on migrants, the environment, and Kurdish language rights.
Erol, 44, was married with two children. He was laid to rest on 12 October in Teniköy in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır.
- Abdülbari Şenci
Abdülbari Şenci, 55, was a member of the Peoples’ Democratic Party’s (HDP) Şişli district branch. A father of seven, Şenci worked as a night watchman at nearby Maçka Park. He was buried in his home village, Çat, in the southeastern province of Siirt’s Pervari district.
- Abdülkadir Uyan
Abdulkadir Uyan, 26, graduated from Istanbul University’s Electrical and Electronics Engineering Department in 2013. Together with his older brother, he opened an engineering office in his hometown in eastern Anatolia, Bingöl. One day before the massacre, Uyan applied to conduct a master’s program in the same department at his alma mater.
Uyan, who was also active in the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), was interred in the Mutluca village of Solhan, Bingöl.
- Adil Gür
Adil Gür was a member of the Party of Labor (EMEP) Dersim branch. Together with fellow EMEP member Mesut Mak, he was laid to rest in the eastern province of Dersim in a funeral that drew thousands of mourners.
- Ahmed Alkhaldi
Ahmed Alkhaldi, 27, attended the meeting together with the Hatay branch of the People’s Houses (Halkevleri). Also a member of the Right to Life Assemblies, Alkhaldi gave English and Arabic lessons at the Halkevi, as well as volunteer Arabic lessons at the Halkevleri Ahmet Atakan Library in Armutlu, Antakya.
A tent to receive mourners was erected by his family in Gaza, as well as in Antakya by the Hatay Halkevleri.
“Ahmed last called me at Eid,” said the man’s father, Mahmud Alkhaldi, according to the website Donia Al-Watan. “He sent his siblings money for Eid, and was trying to save up money to return because he was going to get engaged.”
Condemning Alkhaldi’s murder and the Ankara Massacre in a statement, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine said: “Ahmad fell alongside his fellow martyrs of the peoples of our region, in this march, and confirms once again that the struggle against imperialism, Zionism and their proxy reactionary forces is a common struggle for all of us.”
Alkhaldi was also commemorated by the Initiative to Boycott Israel for Palestine (BDS Turkey). “Comrade Ahmed Alkhaldi, who spent his short life fighting against the Zionist occupation, takfiri/jihadist groups and unjust wars before raising his demand for ‘peace’ with his last breath on 10 October in Ankara, is a martyr of all peoples.”
Because of the embargo on Gaza and because Turkey has imposed visa requirements on Palestinians, Alkhaldi’s family was unable to come to Turkey to collect his remains.
Alkhaldi was sent off on 16 October with a ceremony from the Forensic Medicine Institute in Ankara, but Egyptian authorities have so far refused to hand over the man’s remains to his family at the border with Gaza.
- Ahmet Katurlu
Ahmet Katurlu was a member of the Peoples’ Democratic Party’s (HDP) Üsküdar district branch.
Together with the other members of the HDP’s Üsküdar branch that lost their lives in the massacre, Katurlu was buried following a funeral at Istanbul’s Yavuz Selim Mosque on 12 October.
- Ali Deniz Uzatmaz
Ali Deniz Uzatmaz, 19, had started his undergraduate studies this year at Mersin University’s Electrical Engineering Faculty.
He was also the head of the Youth of Labor (Emek Gençliği) organization in the southeastern province of Antep.
Emulating how Uzatmaz had carried photographs of 19-year-old Ali İsmail Korkmaz after the Gezi protester was murdered by police officers and civilian fascists, Uzatmaz’s friends also carried the peace martyr’s photograph during events commemorating him.
Uzatmaz was laid to rest following a funeral at a cemevi in the southern province of Maraş’s Narlı district.
- Ali Kitapçı
A worker at the State Railways’ Information Department, 57-year-old Ali Kitapçı was the Ankara branch secretary of the United Transportation Workers’ Union (BTS).
“I don’t know about others, but [Ali] had a very valuable and important place in our lives,” said the Anarchy Initiative following Kitapçı’s passing. “If we called him the Turkish anarchist movement’s first unionist it wouldn’t too far from the truth. He was a man of action that derailed locomotives, chained doors and closed access to the rails during strikes. He was also a source of joy for us: who is going to tell us tales of the anarcho-syndicalist struggle in English coal mines now?”
“We were the ones who said let peace come for the poor, the laborers, the Kurds, the Turks, the Laz, the Circassians, the women and the men of this country,” Kitapçı’s widow, Emel Kitapçı, said at his funeral. “We said ‘peace,’ but they said ‘death.’ We know who the murderer is, but we stand erect. We stand on our feet with our conscience and our morals, and our struggle will continue. They can kill us once, but we are born in our thousands. Peace and freedom will come to this country against this herd of backstabbers. My comrade, I salute you a thousand times. The only death that suited you was this one … stubbornly against these backstabbers.”
Kitapçı was buried in Ankara’s Karşıyaka Cemetery following a ceremony in front of Ankara Train Station on 12 October.
- Ata Önder Atabey
Ata Önder Atabey was a teacher with the education workers’ union Eğitim-Sen, as well as a member of the Beleştepe Supporters’ Group for the Beşiktaş football club. Atabey was also active in fighting for the hundreds of thousands of teachers who had failed to be assigned a teaching position.
Atabey, who was badly injured in the massacre, succumbed to his injuries on 16 October. “Our pain [from the massacre] has grown even greater,” Eğitim-Sen said in a tweet after Atabey’s passing.
In the wake of Atabey’s death, the Beleştepe Supporters’ Group issued a call to claim the teacher’s remains.
At one point, Atabey shared on his Twitter feed the following words: “Why does the state, which knows well how to kill, not know how to keep people alive?”
- Aycan Kaya
Aycan Kaya was the co-chair of the Peoples’ Democratic Party’s (HDP) Üsküdar district branch. Kaya, 42, left behind four children.
She was buried on 11 October in the southeastern province of Batman.
- Ayşe Deniz
Ayşe Deniz was a financial consultant, as well as a member of the board of directors of the Peoples’ Democratic Party’s (HDP) Karşıyaka district branch in İzmir.
Deniz, as well as fellow massacre victim Berna Koç, was given an unforgettable send-off by the people of İzmir during a massive march and ceremony that drew thousands on 12 October.
The crowd vowed “to bring peace” as women comrades carried the caskets of both Deniz and Koç during the ceremony.
Along with Koç, Deniz was laid to rest by women pallbearers at İzmir’s Doğançay Cemetery.
- Azize Onat
Azize Onat was a member of the Peoples’ Democratic Party’s (HDP) Üsküdar district branch. Onat was laid to rest by women comrades on 12 October in Istanbul’s Ümraniye district.
- Başak Sidar Çevik
Başak Sidar Çevik was a fourth-year student in Atılım University’s Construction Faculty in Ankara. She was also the niece of Nilgün Çevik, who was also killed in the massacre.
“My daughter was in her last year at Atılım University,” said Başak Sidar Çevik’s father, İzzettin Çevik, who also attended the rally along with his wife. “My daughter caught up with us at our meeting spot, and then we entered the square. We trusted [the security]. We said ‘peace’ – we didn’t say anything else: just ‘peace.’ And they did this to us in the heart of Ankara. Our pain is very great. The only thing I want is to bury our loved ones.”
İzzettin Çevik’s wife, Hatice Çevik, was hospitalized after the massacre.
- Bedriye Batur
Bedriye Batur was the mother of three children and the niece of fellow victim Fatma Batur. She was buried on 15 October in Alanya, together with Fatma Batur and Hasan Baykara.
- Berna Koç
A member of the İzmir People’s Houses (Halkevleri), Berna Koç became active in the organization following the 20 July Suruç Massacre. She was working as a cleaner while also preparing for her university exams after having won a placing at Celal Bayar University’s Mapping and Land Registry Department. In 2004, she also participated in the Gay-Lesbian Workers’ Gathering that was organized by unions with the collaboration of LGBTI workers and civil servants from KaosGL.
Koç lost her parents while she was still a baby before also losing her subsequent foster family. She was later placed in an orphanage.
Koç, as well as fellow massacre victim Ayşe Deniz, was given an unforgettable send-off by the people of İzmir during a massive march and ceremony that drew thousands on 12 October.
“We are sending Berna Koç off to the stars. Our promise to you is that we will bring peace,” the Halkevleri Women’s Branch said at her funeral.
“We came together for peace, and we set out on the road for peace. We set out on the road against the Palace’s dictatorship,” said Halkevleri Chairwoman Oya Ersoy at the funeral. “Let no one ask who the murderers are. We know them very well. If those bombs had not been detonated there, we would have raised those calls for peace to the sky. But it didn’t happen. Those bombs were directed at all of us. They detonated them because they wanted to silence us. But they will not succeed; we will not abandon this country to thieves. We will not abandon this country to a couple of fascists. In the end, peace will win.”
Koç’s casket was wrapped in purple and rainbow flags prior to burial.
The women comrades acting as pallbearers shouted “Our promise to you is that we will bring peace” during the ceremony.
Berna Koç and Ayşe Deniz were laid to rest side by side at İzmir’s Doğançay Cemetery.
- Bilgen Parlak
Bilgen Parlak, 45, was a machinist at the Ankara Train Station. A member of the United Transportation Union (BTS), Parlak took 10 October off to attend the meeting.
The father of two children, Parlak was laid to rest on 11 October in his hometown, the eastern district of Kâhta.
- Binali Korkmaz
A worker at the Istanbul water authority, Binali Korkmaz was also the Avcılar district head of the People’s Democratic Party (HDP). Korkmaz was the father of two, including Rojda Korkmaz, the bureau news chief for the Dicle News Agency’s (DİHA) Çukurova branch.
Korkmaz’s funeral was held on 12 October in Küçükçekmece before he was buried at Kanarya Cemetery with slogans.
- Canberk Bakış
Canberk Bakış was a student at Adnan Menderes University’s Economics and Administration Faculty in the Aegean province of Aydın, as well as a member of the Youth of Labor (Emek Gençliği). The Republican People’s Party (CHP) also said Bakış was a member of its youth branch.
Bakış was laid to rest on 11 October in the eastern province of Malatya.
The university’s rector, Professor Dr. Cavit Bircan, posted a letter of condolence on the school’s official website following Bakış’s death.
- Cemal Avşar
Cemal Avşar was a member of the Peoples’ Democratic Party’s (HDP) Üsküdar branch.
Avşar was laid to rest alongside fellow peace martyrs Vahdettin Özgan, Selim Örs, Azize Onat and Ahmet Katurlu following a funeral at Ümraniye’s Yavuz Selim Mosque in Istanbul.
“Did you know Cemal from Üsküdar? He was a quiet man,” said Ender Öndeş in a piece published in daily Özgür Gündem. “He would close and open the HDP building, put on the tea, and welcome everyone with his smiling face. Just the other day he sat next to us on a dolmuş. I couldn’t figure it out at first, but my daughter leaned over and asked in his ear (as a child that has learned to whisper the name of a legal party), ‘Aren’t you from the HDP?’ After that, we talked the whole way. ‘They’re really attacking us,’ he said. ‘But we’ll win nonetheless,’” Öndeş added.
“Cemal is no more. The only thing that’s left of that big-hearted quiet man is a photo that was taken on the bus to Ankara,” Öndeş said.
- Dicle Deli
Dicle Deli was a 17-year-old high-school student.
“Because of something in the past, our relationship was a bit sour,” said Deli’s father, who works as a municipal patrol officer in Bakırköy, Istanbul. “Because of that, she came to me and said, ‘Dad, I love you.’ ‘I love you, too,’ I told my daughter. After that, I welcomed her with open arms, but there wasn’t another chance to hug her.”
Deli was laid to rest on 12 October at Silivrikapı Cemetery in Istanbul.
- Dilan Sarıkaya
Dilan Sarıkaya, 22, was an archaeological student at Çukurova University, as well as a member of the Party of Labor (EMEP).
“I want to send off my comrade with the first slogan that I taught her: ‘Death to fascism, freedom to the people.’ My comrade, say hello to our comrades,” said Sarıkaya’s father, İzzet Sarıkaya, during her funeral.
Her father had discovered her body in the carnage following the blasts.
“She never carried a grudge in her heart. The child didn’t go there with a gun, she went with love in her heart. We had dreams with Dilan, but they destroyed and finished those dreams. There was only love, peace and hope in her heart,” said the woman’s aunt, Yıldız Erdoğan. “The killed a child, and they burnt 100 people. They burned us.”
A fund has been established to help provide a memorial scholarship in Sarıkaya’s name for an archaeology student in Turkey: https://www.gofundme.com/dilansarikaya.
Sarıkaya was laid to rest in a massive funeral on 12 October in Adana.
- Dilaver Karharman
Dilaver Karharman (sitting on the right in the picture above) was the deputy head of the Peoples’ Democratic Party’s (HDP) branch in the Central Anatolian province of Karaman. Karharman was 61 and the father of five children.
Karharman’s body was returned to Karaman along with fellow peace martyr Nevzat Sayan, a member of the United Transportation Union (BTS).
Karharman was laid to rest on 12 October in Karaman’s City Cemetery.
- Ebru Mavi
Ebru Mavi, 20, was a second-year student at Ankara University’s Chemistry Department. Ebru attended the peace rally along with her uncle, İsmail İşli, the co-chair of the Peoples’ Democratic Party’s (HDP) Alanya branch.
Mavi was laid to rest on 13 October in the eastern district of Elbistan.
- Elif Kanlıoğlu
Elif Kanlıoğlu, 20, came to the rally from the Aegean province of Aydın. A second-year student at Mersin University’s Foreign Languages Faculty, Kanlıoğlu was also a member of the Party of Labor (EMEP).
“My daughter was there to say ‘peace’ and that no one should die,” her father, EMEP Aydın head Ümit Kanlıoğlu said at her funeral in the eastern Black Sea district of Arhavi. “My daughter was Laz; Kurds died next to her, Circassians died, Turks died – children and those that wanted peace died next to her. We say ‘enough’ already. May someone finally hear our voice. May those that hear our voice heed it; may those that don’t get their comeuppance.”
- Emin Aydemir
Emin Aydemir, a 48-year-old construction worker from the Aegean province of Manisa, was married and had five children.
Aydemir was buried in Manisa’s Saruhanlı district alongside a relative that also perished in the massacre, Resul Yanar.
Aydemir’s brother, Salih Aydemir, received permission to attend the funeral from a prison in Manisa. Speaking at the exit to the mosque, Salih Aydemir said the massacre was committed in the name of religion and Islam and that the murderers and those that organized the attacks would not go unpunished.
Mourners at Aydemir’s funeral shouted “Murderer Erdoğan” and “Murderer ISIL, collaborator AKP” during the funeral.
- Emine Ercan
Emine Ercan, 55, was a member of the Party of Labor (EMEP).
“My wife went there for peace,” said her husband, Cuma Ercan. “But my wife died for peace there.”
Ercan was sent off by women comrades at Çorum Hacı Bektaş Cemevi before being buried in the village of Büyük Divan.
- Ercan Adsız
Ercan Adsız, 42, was the head of the Party of Labor (EMEP) in the northwestern province of Çanakkale and attended the rally along with his wife, Yasemin Adsız, a teacher and the Çanakkale branch head of education workers’ union Eğitim-Sen.
The father of a daughter and a son, Adsız was buried in Tekirdağ’s Çorlu district.
- Eren Akın
Eren Akın, 19, was a member of the youth branch of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) in the eastern province of Malatya.
Akın had previously taken a selfie with CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu that was widely shared on social media.
Radikal.com.tr also shared a video of Akın reciting murdered journalist Uğur Mumcu’s famous poem “Vurulduk ey halkım unutma bizi” (O my people, they have slain us, do not forget us).
Akın was laid to rest on 11 October at Malatya’s City Cemetery.
- Erhan Avcı
Erhan Avcı was a scrap metal dealer from the southern province of Adana.
He was buried Adana’s Küçükoba Cemetery on 12 October together with fellow peace martyr Dilan Sarıkaya.
- Erol Ekici
Erol Ekici, 38, was a construction worker in Istanbul, as well as a member of the Construction Workers’ Union.
Speaking at a 14 October ceremony, the man’s friends from his time in the 1990s at Yıldız Technical University noted that Ekici had always stood with the oppressed and that recent massacres would not succeed in halting the struggle for peace and freedom.
Ekici was laid to rest in the eastern province of Erzincan’s Beşsaray village.
Earth from Ekici’s grave was brought to Yıldız Technical University’s garden and place at the root of a sapling that was planted to honor student Hasan Selim Gönen, who was killed in July 2012.
- Fatma (Filiz) Batur
Fatma Batur was the co-chair of the Peoples’ Democratic Party’s (HDP) branch in the southern district of Alanya.
After failing to reach Fatma Batur and her niece, Bedriye Batur, the woman’s father, Raşit Ceylan, boarded a bus in the southern province of Osmaniye for Ankara.
Relating his experiences at the Forensic Medicine Institute as he attempted to identify their bodies, he said: “They told me, ‘Fatma’s dead.’ We went to the Forensic Medicine Institute. ‘Your daughter is here,’ they said. They brought [out a body]. ‘Is it your daughter?’ they asked. The girl on the table had no face. I looked at her hands; they weren’t Fatma’s. I couldn’t even give thanks [at the fact it wasn’t her]. There were bodies blown to pieces everywhere.”
At a loss for words, the father said: “The women have no faces. How are we going to go back home?”
Fatma Batur, who was a mother of two, was laid to rest in Alanya together with Bedriye Batur and Hasan Baykara.
- Fatma Esen
Fatma Esen was a 45-year-old member of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and the mother of two children.
Esen was honored with a ceremony at Fatih’s Kadınlar Pazarı in Istanbul before receiving a funeral at the Gazi Cemevi that drew thousands of mourners. During a march to the Gazi Cemetery, Esen was carried by women pallbearers.
During the funeral, Esen’s mother-in-law, Perihan Esen, made the victory sign and shouted “Artık Yeter/Edî Bes E” (Enough Already) in Turkish and Kurdish.
- Fatma Karakurt
Fatma Karakurt, 43, was an official at the of Peoples’ Democratic Party’s (HDP) Üsküdar district branch.
She was buried on 11 October in her hometown, the village of Kırkışla, in the Central Anatolian province of Konya’s Cihanbeyli district.
- Fevzi Sert
Fevzi Sert, 45, was a technician at a workshop of the State Railways in the southern district of İskenderun, as well as the branch secretary of the United Transportation Union (BTS) in the district.
Sert was married with three children.
Sert was buried on 11 October in the southern province of Adana’s Kozan district.
- Feyyat Deniz
Feyyat Deniz was a member of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).
Speaking at Deniz’s funeral on 12 October in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır, the peace martyr’s brother, Seyitxan Deniz, said: “As per the wishes of my brother, we are burying him next to my father. We have fulfilled his last wish. We will not forget who made us experience this massacre.”
- Gazi Güray
Gazi Güray, a retired worker who was the father of three, came to the rally from Mersin with a group of Alevi associations.
He was laid to rest on 12 October in his hometown, the eastern province of Dersim’s Mazgirt district.
- Gökhan Akman
Gökhan Akman, 21, was a fourth-year student at Uşak University’s Mechanical Engineering Department, as well as a member of the Party of Labor’s (EMEP) youth wing in the inner Aegean province of Uşak.
Uşak University Rector Professor Dr. Sait Çelik paid tribute to Akman in a message of condolence printed on the school’s website.
Akman was laid to rest on 11 October in the southwestern province of Denizli’s Çameli district.
Soldiers, however, erected a roadblock to prevent Akman’s friends from university in Uşak and friends from high school in Denizli from attending the funeral.
- Gökhan Gökbönü
Gökhan Gökbönü, 18, was a member of the Party of Labor’s (EMEP) youth organization in the southern province of Adana.
Gökbönü was laid to rest in the Ceylan district’s Yılankale Neighborhood.
- Gökmen Dalmaç
Gökmen Dalmaç, 38, was the head of the Party of Labor’s (EMEP) Beyoğlu district branch in Istanbul, as well as a member of the Revolutionary Supporters of Trabzonspor (Devrimci Trabzonsporlular), a Black Sea football club.
Dalmaç had formerly held the position of secretary of the educational workers’ union Eğitim-Sen in Trabzon and had formerly worked at Trabzon’s Karadeniz Technical University’s Student Affairs Directorate.
He had been living the last number of years in Istanbul.
“My beautiful child, get up, it’s time to go home. Did I send you from Trabzon like this?” said Günay Semiz, the wife of Dalmaç’s uncle, who raised the man.
Devrimci Trabzonsporlular also released a statement, saying, “Peace will win.”
Dalmaç was laid to rest on 12 October in Trabzon.
- Gözde Aslan
Gözde Aslan was a youth member of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) from the eastern province of Malatya.
During her funeral in Malatya, Parliamentary Speaker and Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy İsmet Yılmaz became the target of protests from mourners after he attempted to move to the front of the crowd during the ceremony.
During the protest, mourners chanted, “The peace martyrs are immortal,” “The murderous state will pay” and “Get out, murderers.”
Yılmaz was forced to leave at the conclusion of the funeral prayers.
- Gülbahar Aydeniz
Gülbahar Aydeniz was one of 11 people from the youth wing of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) in the eastern province of Malatya to perish in the massacre.
Aydeniz was laid to rest on 12 October in Malatya, along with fellow peace martyrs Gözde Aslan, Umut Tan, Onur Tan, Sezen Vurmaz and Seyhan Yaylagül.
- Gülhan Elmascan
Gülhan Elmascan, 25, was a psychological guidance teacher at a primary school in the southern province of Adana. She got married last year to Yılmaz Elmascan, a machinist with the State Railways and a member of the United Transportation Union (BTS) who also perished in the blasts.
She was one of 10 people from Adana to fall in the massacre.
Elmascan’s body was brought to Zengen in the Central Anatolian province of Konya’s Ereğli district, where women colleagues carried her casket to her family’s home.
She was laid to rest amid slogans and tears in the neighborhood’s cemetery.
- Günay Doğan
Günay Doğan was a third-year student at Istanbul Technical University’s (İTÜ) Construction Engineering Department. He was also a member of the Federation of Democratic Youth Associations (Dem-Genç) and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) youth coordination group at İTÜ.
“Peace, against war, in spite of everything,” said Doğan’s father, Mustafa Doğan, at a ceremony for the fallen student. “Peace, against [President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s] war, in spite of everything. My Güney has become a martyr. I stand behind my son’s struggle.”
During a ceremony, İTÜ students and friends read Doğan’s favorite poem, while also singing one of his favorite marching songs, “The Rising Sun in Dersim” (Dersim’de Doğan Güneş).
Doğan was laid to rest at Sarıgazi’s Taşdelen Cemetery in Istanbul.
- Hacı Kıvrak
Hacı Kıvrak, 45, was a member of the United Transportation Union (BTS) who had worked at the State Railways for 25 years.
“May Allah punish those who staged this attack,” Kıvrak’s brother, İsmail Kıvrak, said at the funeral in the Üzümlük village of the Central Anatolian province of Yozgat’s Aydıncık district. “I can’t find the words to say anything else. Whether we are Turkish, Kurdish, Alevi or Sunni, we are all brothers. They want to bring brother against brother with terrorist attacks.”
- (Hacı) Mehmet Şah Esin
Mehmet Şah Esin was a member of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).
Esin was laid to rest on 12 October in the southern province of Adana in a ceremony that also honored fellow peace martyrs Dilan Sarıkaya and Erhan Avcı.
- Hakan Dursun Akalın
Hakan Dursun Akalın was a philosophy teacher in the northern province of Amasya, as well as a member of the Party of Labor (EMEP).
Before departing for the peace rally in Ankara, Akalın shared this on social media: “It doesn’t come just because you say ‘come.’ Just hoping and waiting is for the helpless. It is not the time to escape and hide. … Peace is in Ankara – you have to go there and get it. I’m going; greetings to those that are staying. If I can bring peace, I hope it will bring joy to my daughter.”
Akalın was buried in Amasya’s Tekirdede Cemetery following a funeral on 11 October at Şirvanlı Mosque.
- Hasan Baykara
Hasan Baykara was a marble master who lived in the Mediterranean district of Alanya with his wife and four children.
“It was as if the teachers and unionists that went from Alanya to Ankara were going to a wedding. They were so happy that they had a shave and put on nice clothes because they were going for peace,” Bediha Baykara, the man’s wife, said as she was awaiting the results of a DNA test at the Forensic Medicine Institute.
“I have four children. One of our daughters got married on 1 September, World Peace Day. She is a Turkish teacher,” she said. “We thought we would all grow old together. My husband was the most honest man I ever saw in my life. He loved someone if he was from the MHP [the right-wing Nationalist Movement Party], and he was friends with people from the CHP [Republican People’s Party]. After our daughter got married and the other was accepted to university, we finally got our first room. We got ourselves a bed after our daughters left. Until now, we always slept in the salon because we wanted our children to be comfortable. After 23 years, how many couples do you see that still say, ‘I love you’ to each other?”
Baykara was buried on 15 October, together with fellow peace martyrs Fatma and Bedriye Batur.
- İbrahim Atılgan
İbrahim Atılgan, 55, was killed in the Ankara Massacre together with his 9-year-old son, Veysel, the youngest of the 10 October peace martyrs.
Atılgan, who had been working at the State Railways Diyarbakır Directorate, was transferred to Ankara five years ago.
Atılgan, who was also a member of the United Transportation Union (BTS), was laid to rest on 12 October along with his son in the southeastern province of Batman.
- İdil Güneyi
İdil Güneyi, 52, was a chief engineer at the State Railways that had graduated from Ankara’s Hacettepe University as a physics engineer. Originally from the northwestern province of Bursa, Güneyi was a member of the United Transportation Union (BTS) and a mother of one.
In her last Facebook post, Güneyi wrote, “Our tears are the same color: We’re in Ankara on 10 October.”
Güneyi was laid to rest in Ankara’s Karşıyaka Cemetery following a funeral on 12 October.
- İsmail Kızılçay
İsmail Kızılçay was one of the founding members of the Construction Workers’ Union (İnşaat-İş) and the father of two children.
Kızılçay was also a friend of Ethem Sarısülük, who was gunned down by police in Ankara’s Kızılay Square during the June Revolt of 2013, also known as the Gezi protests. While Sarısülük was battling for his life in hospital, Kızılçay staged a protest in front of the hospital, during which he was attacked by police, sustaining injuries to his face as a result of a tear gas canister. Despite being left on the ground in blood, Kızılçay refused to let go of his “Resist, Ethem” sign.
Kızılçay was one of three İnşaat-İş members to perish in the Ankara Massacre.
Kızılçay was laid to rest in Aşağıkayı village of the northern province of Kastamonu’s Tonya district. In accordance with his will, Kızılçay was buried 10 meters away from Aslan Tel, who died in 1983 during a police attack on his home.
- Kasım Otur
Kasım Otur, 48, was the head of the United Transportation Union (BTS) branch in the eastern province of Malatya.
Married with one child, Otur was laid to rest on 11 October in Malatya.
- Kemal Tayfun Benol
Kemal Tayfun Benol was the owner and chief news editor of Politika newspaper, as well as one of the founders of the Construction Workers’ Union (İnşaat-İş). A graduate of Istanbul University’s International Relations Department, Benol was 54.
Benol came to the rally with wife, who is a lawyer, and their two sons. Benol had briefly left his family to join the İnşaat-İş cortege and solicit comment on the rally from his friends in the union when the blasts occurred, killing him.
“It’s so difficult to talk, but I will say this: My father was a revolutionary, and he always lived as a revolutionary. And just like a revolutionary is supposed to die, he died while chanting a slogan at a protest,” Benol’s son, Deniz Benol, said during the funeral. “My condolences to those who have lost loved ones.”
Benol was laid to rest on 12 October at Maltepe’s Başıbüyük Cemetery in Istanbul.
- Korkmaz Tedik
Korkmaz Tedik was a member of the Party of Labor (EMEP).
“We are not without hope,” Tedik’s father, Erdoğan Tedik, said during a ceremony in front of a union building in Ankara’s Çankaya Municipality to honor both Tedik and others that fell in the massacre. “We saw in the 7 June [general elections] that we are not without hope. United, we overcame the barriers. With a united struggle, we will bring down these oppressors,” he added.
“He organized hundreds of youths,” Tedik’s father said. “He fought for a completely independent Turkey and for the working class. He ran from strike to strike, and his comrades did not abandon him.”
Erdoğan Tedik sent his son off with the slogan, “Death to fascism, freedom to the people.”
Tedik was buried at Ankara’s Karşıyaka Cemetery after a funeral at the Batıkent Cemevi.
- Kübra Meltem Mollaoğlu
Kübra Meltem Mollaoğlu was a candidate for the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) in Istanbul’s 1st electoral district in the 16th spot.
Married with two children, Mollaoğlu was sent off from Karacaahmet Cemetery in Üsküdar on 11 October.
- Leyla Çiçek
Leyla Çiçek, 23, was on the board of directors of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) in the southern district of Tarsus.
“We condemn this savagery,” said Çiçek’s older sister, Ayten Çiçek, at a funeral ceremony. “I’m proud of my sister; she went for peace to that rally.”
“The only thing we wanted is peace – nothing else,” said Çiçek’s other sister. “My sister died for the sake of peace.”
Following a funeral procession that lasted for four kilometers, Çiçek was buried amid great mourning in Tarsus’ City Cemetery on 12 October.
- Mehmet Ali Kılıç
Mehmet Ali Kılıç was one of the administrators of the youth wing of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) in the eastern province of Malatya.
Kılıç completed his mandatory military service 10 days before the massacre in the southeastern province of Hakkari’s Yüksekova district.
Kılıç was laid to rest on 12 October after a funeral in Malatya’s Hekimhan district that also drew CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu.
- Mehmet Hayta
Mehmet Hayta was a member of the youth wing of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) in the eastern province of Malatya, as well as a second-year student in the Malatya’s İnönü University’s Physical Education and Sports Faculty.
Hayta was interred on 11 October in Malatya following a funeral that drew Sivas CHP deputy Ali Akyıldız.
- Mehmet Tevfik Dalgıç
Mehmet Tevfik Dalgıç came to the Labor, Peace and Democracy Rally from the southeastern province of Siirt.
Dalgıç’s remains were brought to the Mediterranean district of Alanya together with fellow peace martyr Sevim Şinik for a funeral that was attended by thousands on 12 October.
- Meryem Bulut
Meryem Bulut, 70, was the oldest person to perish in the Ankara Massacre. Bulut, who was also a Peace Mother (Barış Annesi) and a member of the board of directors of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) in Istanbul’s Şişli district, was known by everyone as “Meryem Ana” (Mother Mary).
Bulut never heard word again from her son after he was detained by police in the 1990s in southeast Turkey.
Her grandson attained martyrdom last year while fighting for the People’s Defense Units (YPG) in Şengal (Sinjar) against the jihadists of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
Following Bulut’s death, HDP Istanbul deputy Filiz Keresticioğlu shared a picture on Twitter of herself with Meryem Ana, saying, “You’ve turned all our photographs into the history of massacres.”
Another of Bulut’s sons has been a guerrilla for the past 25 years.
“Our mother died for peace. Our mother died for soldiers, police officers and guerrillas. Our mother died for all people,” said her other children in a statement.
“We will fight for peace in spite of everything and fraternity in spite of everything,” said one of her sons, Adnan Bulut.
Bulut’s remains were met by thousands at the entrance to the southeastern province of Batman. Following a funeral ceremony, she was buried next to her grandson in the village of İkiztepe.
- Mesut Mak
Mesut Mak was a member of the board of directors of Agriculture Forestry Public Servants Union, as well as the Party of Labor (EMEP). His brother, Kenan Mak, was murdered while a student in the northwestern province of Bolu in 1998.
Mak was laid to rest on 12 October in the eastern province of Dersim.
In a letter to Mak written posthumously, Facebook user Hüseyin Aygün paid tribute to Mak, noting that he entertained fellow political prisoners close to 20 years ago after they were arrested by police.
“Your name will live on, dear comrade,” said Aygün. “We will kiss the places that were hit by the bomb that took you from us – your arms, face, red beard and giant hands.”
A funeral ceremony for Mak and fellow peace martyr Adil Gür drew health workers who joined the march from in front of the hospital; at the same time, shopkeepers in Dersim closed their stores as students boycotted classes in a sign of respect for Mak.
- Metin Kürklü
Metin Kürklü, 53, was a retired worker and the head of the Party of Labor (EMEP) in the northern province of Amasya’s Merzifon district. The father of three children, Kürklü came from Amasya to Ankara with friends for the peace rally, which also happened to be his birthday.
“He passed away on his birthday,” said Kürklü’s brother, Çetin Kürklü, who added that he spoken with Metin on the morning of the bombings. “I called him at 8.30 a.m. and wished him a happy birthday. At 12.00, I went to collect his body.”
“We went with a bus from Amasya and Merzifon. We lost two friends, while three were injured,” said Recep Karabek, the Merzifon representative of the Health and Social Services Workers’ Union (SES).
Kürklü was buried on 11 October in Merzifon.
- Metin Peşmen
Metin Peşmen was a member of the board of directors of the Pir Sultan Abdal Cultural Association (PSAKD) in the southern district of Tarsus.
Hundreds of people attended Peşmen’s funeral, during which the cortege was headed by a banner reading, “Pir Sultans do not die on the path to peace, the thousands will come.”
Peşmen was laid to rest on 12 October in Tarsus following a ceremony at the Tekrar Cemevi.
- Muhammet Demir
Muhammet Demir was a first-year student at Biruni University’s Electro-Neuron Physiology Department in Istanbul.
Speaking at a 12 October funeral in Demir’s hometown, the Bağışlı village of the southeastern province of Hakkari, Meya-Der chair Bedrihan Koç strongly condemned the Ankara Massacre.
“Hundreds of thousands of people went to Ankara to shout for peace and to bring it and fraternity to Turkey,” said Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputy Abdullah Zeydan. “But for the sake of their personal benefit, the Palace and the [Justice and Development Party – AKP government], which has been trying … to set Turkey’s youth against each other, detonated a bomb in the midst of our peace-loving brothers. We will bring peace to Turkey, and we will bring justice to these oppressors, who have blown the bodies of the youth to pieces.”
- Muhammed Veysel Atılgan
Veysel Atılgan, just 9, was the youngest peace martyr, having come to the rally with his father, İbrahim Atılgan, who also perished in the massacre.
Atılgan was a grade-three student at Ankara Batıkent’s Kürşad Bey Primary School.
In a video taken not long before his death, Atılgan said he wanted to become a lawyer when he grew up, and that he also hoped to receive a bicycle, tablet and computer from his family.
In the wake of his death, Atılgan’s teacher, Sabahat Yıldırım, wrote an elegy for his pupil.
“My dear pupil, Muhammed Veysel Atılgan, you became the target of murderers because, in that big heart of yours in that small body, you went hand in hand with your father to say peace. In the heart of the capital, you were targeted in a fascist attack. I can still see you playing capture the flag with your friends just yesterday.
“Tell me now, my beautiful-eyed and big-hearted child, how will I explain to your friends the meaning of the word ‘peace?’ How can I give a lesson without you? If I mention you, it won’t be possible without using the word ‘peace,’ but if I say peace, won’t your friends ask, ‘Teacher, are peace and death the same?’
“Which egos of the murderers with foaming mouths did your little body satisfy, I wonder. My beautiful-eyed and big-hearted child, I promise you that that window seat that you liked will always be yours. For me, the dove of peace is now you.”
Atılgan’s classmates also conducted a ceremony for their fallen classmate at their school. The boy was laid to rest in the southeastern province of Batman along with his father.
- Muhammet Zakir Karabulut
Muhammet Zakir Karabulut, 26, was in his last year at Gaziosman Paşa University’s Mapping Engineering Department in the northern province of Tokat. He was also an accountant for the Tokat branch of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).
“My son is a martyr for Kurdistan and all people,” Karabulut’s father, M. Zeki Karabulut, said in a 12 October funeral in the eastern province of Bitlis. “I hope that the martyrdom of those that went to bring back peace will be a tool for peace and that these deaths will be the last.”
- Necla Duran
Necla Duran, 30, was a member of the People’s Houses (Halkevleri) in the southern province of Hatay.
She was standing next to fellow Halkevleri martyr Ahmed Alkhaldi of Palestine when she was killed by the second suicide blast.
Thousands of people began amassing in front of Duran’s family home in the Aşağıokçular Neighborhood of Antakya’s Defne district on the morning of 12 October to honor the fallen woman. In line with Duran’s mother’s wishes, the crowd met her body with applause and ululations in a renewed demonstration from Hatay against war.
During the ceremony in which Arabic and Turkish slogans were chanted, the crowd also honored Duran’s fallen comrade, Alkhaldi, carrying his photograph as well during the ceremony.
A moment of silence was also held for all of the peace martyrs who were killed in the Ankara Massacre.
- Nevzat Özbilgi
Nevzat Özbilgi was active in the Peoples’ Democratic Party’s (HDP) branch in Istanbul’s Şişli district.
“We will not forget this massacre. If we forget, we will forget our humanity,” Sırrı Sakık, the co-mayor of the eastern province of Ağrı, said during a funeral for Özbilgi on 15 October in the village of Güneysu.
- Nevzat Sayan
Nevzat Sayan was a State Railways worker and a member of the United Transportation Union (BTS). While on the way to Ankara from the southern province of Adana, Sayan took a selfie with BTS members Yılmaz Elmascan, Bilgen Parlak and Rıdvan Akgül, all of whom also perished in the massacre.
Sayan was laid to rest on 12 October in hometown, the Central Anatolian province of Karaman.
- Nilgün Çevik
Nilgün Çevik, a 41-year-old mother of three, had come to the rally with her older brother İzzettin Çevik and his wife, Hatice Çevik, from the southeastern province of Urfa.
She was also the aunt of Başak Sidar Çevik, who perished in the massacre.
“My sister … beat cancer, but she couldn’t beat a bomb,” Çevik’s older brother Erdal Çevik told daily Milliyet after the blast.
Both Çevik and her niece were laid to rest on 12 October in the southeastern district of Suruç.
- Niyazi Büyüksütçü
Niyazi Büyüksütçü was a retired teacher and the former head of the educational workers’ union Eğitim-Sen in the northwestern district of Gebze, one of the founders of the Greens and Left Future Party (YSGP), and the co-head of the Peoples’ Democratic Party’s (HDP) Gazipaşa branch in the Mediterranean province of Antalya.
“He’s not going to come back,” Büyüksütçü’s wife, Emine Büyüksütçü, said during her husband’s interment in his hometown, the Sarıyer village of the northwestern province of Bolu’s Mudurnu district.
Emine Büyüksütçü, who was also a retired teacher, fainted from grief during the funeral.
- Nizamettin Bağcı
Nizamettin Bağcı, 56, was a construction worker who was married with two children.
“We were murdered by savage killers. My brother lost his life in a societal struggle,” said Bağcı’s brother, Nevzat Bağcı. He is our martyr, as well as a martyr for all of Kurdistan. We promise to uphold his memory.”
Bağcı was laid to rest on 11 October in the western province of Manisa’s Saruhanlı district amid mourning songs in Kurdish.
- Nurullah Erdoğan
Nurullah Erdoğan, 28, was a member of the Federation of Democratic Youth Associations (Dem-Genç) and the Peoples’ Democratic Party’s (HDP) branch in Istanbul’s Şişli district.
Erdoğan was working as a courier for a company in Nişantaşı.
Erdoğan was laid to rest in the Çat village of the southeastern province of Siirt’s Pervari district.
- Onur Tan
Onur Tan was one of the 11 members of the youth branch of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) in the eastern province of Malatya to perish in the massacre – a number that included his cousin, Umut Tan.
Tan was laid to rest on 12 October in a funeral that drew thousands and also included ceremonies for the other CHP youth wing members killed in the blasts. Onur and Umut Tan were buried in the Uğrak Neighborhood Cemetery of Malatya’s Yeşilyurt district following a protest against Parliamentary Speaker and Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy İsmet Yılmaz.
The cousins were also the cousin of Dilek Tan, a CHP assembly member at the Kocaeli Metropolitan Municipality in northwestern Turkey. On the other side of her family, Dilek Tan also lost her cousin Sarıgül Tüylü in the massacre.
- Orhan Işıktaş
Orhan Işıktaş, 24, was a third-year student at Selçuk University’s Logistics Department in the Central Anatolian province of Konya.
“Orhan went to Ankara for peace. They killed those that went for peace. Condolences to everyone. May only [President Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan not be alright,” said the man’s mother, Müzeyyen Işıktaş, at his funeral ceremony in the southern province of Mersin’s Tarsus district.
Işıktaş was laid to rest in Tarsus’ Zübeyir village on 11 October.
- Osman Ersava
Osman Ersava, 24, was a personnel member with the State Airport Directorate (DHMİ) at Ordu Airport on the Black Sea, where he had been transferred to from the southeastern province of Batman.
Ersava was also a member of the United Transportation Union (BTS).
Ersava was laid to rest on 12 October in the northern province of Amasya’s Suluova district.
- Osman Turan Bozacı
Osman Turan Bozacı, 58, was a retired teacher and member of the Party of Labor (EMEP).
“He was not only my father, he was my comrade,” said Çağalayan Bozacı, Osman Turan’s son, during his funeral on 12 October in the Black Sea province of Rize’s Pazar district. “In the end, we’re just a small part of a big picture. We have to look at the big picture. We know who are murderers are. We know well who they are. We won’t forget – don’t you either. This carnation isn’t for me; it’s for all of us. I love you all.”
“We won’t be silent anymore; may the Palace know this,” the murdered man’s older brother said at the funeral.
- Özver Gökhan Arpaçay
Özver Gökhan Arpaçay, 32, was a math teacher that worked at the Istanbul Revenue Office and was also a member of the Office Workers’ Union, which is tied to the Confederation of Public Sector Unions (KESK).
Arpaçay also had aspirations of making a film.
His mother sang regional mourning songs during his funeral on 12 October in the eastern province of Kars.
- Ramazan Çalışkan
Ramazan Çalışkan, 35, was a member of the Peoples’ Democratic Party’s (HDP) İnegöl branch in the northwestern province of Bursa.
He was laid to rest on 11 October in İnegöl.
- Ramazan Tunç
Ramazan Tunç, 24, was a construction worker in Istanbul and a member of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).
The father of four children, Tunç was buried on 12 October in the eastern province of Van.
- Resul Yanar
Resul Yanar was a construction worker from the western province of Manisa’s Saruhanlı.
Married with four children, Yanar was buried on 11 October in Saruhanlı together with his relative, Emin Aydemir, who also perished in the blast.
“We’re shouting for peace. What can I say? We’re begging for it,” said Yanar’s father, Cafer Yanar. “If 10 people die, if 20 people die, if 100 people die, we still want peace.”
Noting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s aspirations for a super-presidency, the father said: “He wants 400 MPs [to be able to the change the administrative system]. He should ingratiate himself and give 400 MPs to the people.”
- Rıdvan Akgül
Rıdvan Akgül worked for the State Railways and was the branch secretary for the United Transportation Union (BTS) in the southern province of Adana.
Akgül was laid to rest on 11 October in the southeastern province of Siirt.
“This martyr is the martyr of us all. I thank you all for coming to claim your martyr,” Akgül’s father, Aziz Akgül, said at the funeral.
- Sabri Almaz
Sabri Almaz, 67, joined the rally from the southern province of Adana. Almaz, who was involved in commerce, has eight children.
“They couldn’t tolerate peace,” Democratic Regions Party (DBP) official Eyüp Koşar said at Almaz’s funeral in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır’s Silvan district on 12 October. “They wanted to give the message that whoever talks about humanity and peace will be slain like this. The only thing we can do is protect our unity and togetherness.”
- Sarıgül Tüylü
Sarıgül Tüylü, 35, was the mother of children aged 5 and 10 and a member of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) in Istanbul’s Sarıyer district.
Tüylü’s casket was carried by women during her funeral at the Nurtepe Cemevi in Istanbul’s Kağıthane district on 11 October. During the funeral, mourners shouted “Şehîd namirin” (Martyrs are immortal in Kurdish), while some shopkeepers did not open their shops in a sign of respect.
- Selim Örs
Selim Örs was a member of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) in Istanbul’s Üsküdar district.
Örs was laid to rest at a mass funeral in Ümraniye’s Yavuz Sultan Selim Mosque that also included other HDP Üsküdar members Vahdettin Özgan, Ahmet Katurlu, Azize Onat and Cemal Avşar.
- Serdar Ben
Serdar Ben was born in 1982 in the eastern province of Dersim’s Ovacık district.
An organizational specialist with the Construction Workers’ Union (İnşaat-İş), Ben had worked in a number of different fields, from confectionaries to the Tuzla Shipyards in Istanbul. While working in textile workshops in Çağlayan in Istanbul, he was active in the Confection Workers’ Association (KİD).
On 10 September 2014, he was present with other union leaders during a press conference in parliament with Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Mersin MP Ertuğrul Kürkçü and Istanbul MP Sabahat Tuncel to discuss the problem of construction workers in Turkey.
To mark the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, he penned an article for Alınteri journal on 27 April 2015 in which he related his own family’s witnessing of the genocide.
Known as “Maviş,” Ben was laid to rest with a mass funeral in Istanbul’s Gazi neighborhood. Ben’s coffin was covered with the flag of the Turkish Revolutionary Communist Union (TİKB), as well as a banner from İnşaat-İş and a flag from Alınteri. Ben’s older brother also bequeathed his wristwatch and a cigarette to the union organizer’s coffin.
Earth that was taken from the grave of Ethem Sarısülük, who was shot dead by police during the June Revolt (Gezi protests), as well as that of fellow Ankara peace martyr İsmail Kızılçay, was sprinkled over Ben’s grave.
- Sevgi Öztekin
Sevgi Öztekin, 49, was an Ankara native who was married with one child.
Öztekin was “zany, candid and not given to protocol,” her family said in a message to daily Evrensel in the wake of her death.
“On that day, she headed to the square with her friends – other lovers of freedom and peace. She never stopped singing folk songs [Türkü], but they silence her Türküs of peace.
Öztekin was laid to rest on 11 October at Ankara’s Karşıyaka Cemetery following a ceremony at the Batıkent Pirsultan Cemevi.
- Sevim Şinik
Sevim Şinik attended the rally from the southern district of Alanya.
Şinik was laid to rest amid Kurdish mourning songs and slogans in Alanya on 12 October alongside fellow peace martyr Mehmet Tevfik Dalgıç.
- Seyhan Yaylagül
Seyhan Yaylagül, 46, was married with two children.
Together with her husband, she traveled to the rally from the southern province of Maraş’s Elbistan district.
Yaylagül was laid to rest following a commemoration at the Elbistan Cemevi alongside fellow peace martyr Ebru Mavi.
“This massacre was committed against all people who lives on this soil,” said Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Maraş MP candidate Aziz Tunç.
Yaylagül was buried on 12 October in the eastern province of Malatya.
- Sezen Vurmaz
Sezen Vurmaz, 52, came to the rally together with her 15-year-old daughter. While Vurmaz was killed in the blast, her daughter was injured.
Vurmaz is also the mother of Malatya Yeşilyurtspor footballer Onur Vurmaz.
Vurmaz was laid to rest in the eastern province of Malatya on 12 October in a funeral during which mourners protested the presence of Parliamentary Speaker and Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy İsmet Yılmaz, saying “Get out, murderers.”
- Şebnem Yurtman
Şebnem Yurtman, 23, was a student at Mersin University and a member of the board of directors of the Party of Labor (EMEP) in the southern province of Mersin.
“As a Turk, Şebnem defended fraternity with Kurds and Arabs. As a Turk, she grasped the hand of the Kurd,” EMEP official Halil İmrek said at her funeral on 12 October in the nearby province of Adana’s Bucak village.
“They beat and lynched the youth, but they couldn’t kill them. It wasn’t enough, so this time they bombed them and killed them,” said her father, Mehmet Yurtman.
“Look, Şebnem, your friends have come,” her mother, Şafak Yurtman, said. “My daughter has gone, but thousands of my daughters have come.”
“I traveled from morgue to morgue if for no other reason that I could be by your side one more time, but I couldn’t find you,” said her friend Onur Kartal on his Facebook page. “With the help of a prosecutor, I went to identify a body at Hacettepe. I had lost my mind – I was happy when it wasn’t you; I thought that maybe you were still alive and that the news had been wrong. … With an unfounded sense of hope, I went out, but learned that Şebnem had died in the square. There is no God in the place where Şebnem died! There is no law in the place where Şebnem died! Everything is permissible in the place where there is no God or law – to both the oppressed and the oppressors! Everyone must prepare themselves for the worst. There can be no greater nightmare than this.”
- Şirin Kılıçalp
Şirin Kılıçalp, 34, was a Turkish teacher at Istanbul’s Hacı Ethem Üktem Middle School, as well as a theater actress with the educational workers’ union Eğitim-Sen’s Women’s Stage.
“The scarf of Şirin, a teacher and thespian with a beautiful smile, is fluttering for the peace she was martyred for in the endless expanse of Anatolia,” her cousin, writer and journalist İlhan Taşçı, said in a piece for daily Cumhuriyet.
Kılıçalp was laid to rest in the Central Anatolian province of Konya’s Kulu district on 11 October.
- Tekin Arslan
Tekin Arslan, who was one of the founders of the Construction Workers’ Union (İnşaat-İş), traveled to the rally from Istanbul.
Arslan had previously taken part in labor resistance that was successful in forcing administrators at Esenyurt Municipality in Istanbul to pay workers their unpaid wages.
Mourners attending his funeral chanted “Our promise to you is that there will be a revolution” after a ceremony at Istanbul’s Kartal Cemevi on 12 October.
- Umut Tan
Umut Tan was one of the 11 members of the youth branch of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) in the eastern province of Malatya to perish in the massacre – a number that included his cousin, Onur Tan.
Tan was laid to rest on 12 October in a funeral that drew thousands and also included ceremonies for the other CHP youth wing members killed in the blasts. Onur and Umut Tan were buried in the Uğrak Neighborhood Cemetery of Malatya’s Yeşilyurt district.
The cousins were also the cousin of Dilek Tan, a CHP assembly member at the Kocaeli Metropolitan Municipality in northwestern Turkey. On the other side of her family, Dilek Tan also lost her cousin Sarıgül Tüylü in the massacre.
- Uygar Coşkun
Uygar Coşkun, a 33-year-old lawyer, was married with a son.
Colleagues conducted a press statement in his honor in front of the Ankara Courthouse after his death.
“My child’s murderer is the AKP [Justice and Development Party],” Coşkun’s mother said at his funeral, which was held on 12 October at Batıkent Pir Sultan Cemevi.
“This is not fate. Who is going to pay for this?” Coşkun’s wife, Mehtap, screamed at the funeral.
Coşkun was laid to rest at Ankara’s Karşıyaka Cemetery.
- Ümit Seylan
Ümit Seylan had been living in the eastern province of Erzurum’s Tekman district, but had moved to Ankara two weeks before the rally after winning a placement at Yıldırım Beyazıt University.
“We won’t bow down in the face of these massacres. If necessary, we will also go down this path and sacrifice ourselves for martyrdom. My brother is a martyr for Kurdistan and peace,” said the man’s brother, Ömer Seylan.
Seylan was laid to rest on 14 October in Tekman.
- Vahdettin Özgan
Vahdettin Özgan was a member of the Peoples’ Democratic Party’s (HDP) Üsküdar district branch.
Özgan was buried on 12 October following a mass funeral at Ümraniye’s Yavuz Sultan Selim Mosque that also included other HDP Üsküdar members Selim Örs, Ahmet Katurlu, Azize Onat and Cemal Avşar and which drew HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş and MPs from the Republican People’s Party (CHP).
“A part of me has remained only half, but I will also give life to it. I will walk down this path for peace for which he gave his life,” said the man’s son, Kerem Özgan, at a mourning ceremony.
- Vedat Erkan
Vedat Erkan, 19, had recently finished his high school education in the southeastern province of Siirt’s Baykan (Hawêl) district before coming to work in Ankara with his brothers.
Erkan attended the peace meeting with friends from work.
Erkan was laid to rest in Hawêl’s Çelikli (Baqinê) village.
“My son was a martyr for all of our people, and all those that want peace. A high price has been paid on this road – that’s the situation we’re in.”
- Yılmaz Elmascan
Yılmaz Elmascan was a machinist with the State Railways and a member of the United Transportation Union (BTS) who married Gülhan Elmascan (née Karlı), a 25-year-old psychological guidance teacher at a primary school in the southern province of Adana, last year.
Gülhan Elmascan also died in the blasts.
BTS members Bilgen Parlak, Hacı Kıvrak, Nevzat Sayan, Rıdvan Akgül and Fevzi Sert; Party of Labor (EMEP) members Dilan Sarıkaya, Gökhan Gökbörü and Şebnem Yurtman; and Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) member Mehmet Şah Esin were all victims of the massacre from Adana.
Yılmaz Elmascan was laid to rest in the southeastern district of Suruç, while his wife was buried in the Central Anatolian province of Konya’s Ereğli district.
- Yunus Delice
Yunus Delice, 22, was a student at Celal Bayar University in the western province of Malatya.
Delice was laid to rest 12 October in his hometown, the eastern province of Adıyaman.
- Ziya Saygın
Ziya Saygın, 56, was a member of the Socialist People’s Party of the Oppressed (ESP) as well as a member of the board of directors for the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) branch in the northwestern district of Gebze.
Saygın was married with two children.
“We went there for peace; they can’t stop us with massacres. We’ll go again, and we’ll be more powerful,” said a member of the educational workers’ union Eğitim-Sen during Saygin’s funeral in the Central Anatolian province of Sivas’s Düzova village.