By Hatip Dicle

Wednesday, September 4, 1996
Ozgur Politika

Dear Mehmet,

I am writing this letter to you from Closed Prison in Ankara. It is the
third anniversary of your rise to martyrdom. Frankly, I am a bit stressed; my
heart is sprained and filled with rage.

We have lived through some important developments ever since your
untimely murder three years ago. The Turkish State still insists on it’s old
policies. The crimes against humanity perpetrated on our people have multiplied
from that day onward. They have kept up with the destruction of our
villages. They have been bombing our hills and mountains. They have
burned our forests, our vineyards and our orchards. These oppressors have
expelled millions of our people from their lands. They have murdered
hundreds of our unarmed and defenseless people on the streets, in torture
chambers and in the rural settings. They have martyred hundreds of our
youth each representing the brightest hopes of the Kurdish society for
standing up against the unbridled oppression. They have continued putting
to chains the writers with conscience. They have attacked our party and party
buildings, but despite all that, having failed to silence it, they decided to close
it down and put an end to its legal existence. Trampling on the universal law
and democratic traditions, they have lifted our parliamentary immunity
sending some of us to forced exile and others to the prisons. Today, they have
been suppressing and encircling the HADEP (People’s Democracy Party) the
successor to the DEP (Democracy Party). And who knows what else will
follow…

But do not let this news distress you… All of these savage aggressions
have failed to deter our people. Their love of freedom remains strong and no
one has succeeded to declare a victory over it. Because our people must resist
and win despite the dire conditions that surround them. Because they have
paid a heavy price and are still paying it. Most important of all, because our
people are right.

The state with its unlawful policies is with every passing day a bit more
exposed and isolated in the international arena. Even her old loyal friends
shy away from the ‘ally’ whose crime dossiers are adding new chapters to the
annals of barbarous history. On the other hand, the Kurdish movement is
winning new positions and friends in the international diplomatic arena.

You might remember, we met for the first time at the Human Rights
Association (HRA/IHD) in Diyarbakir where you had come to seek help in
order to fetch the body of your brother who had fallen in the line of duty with
the Turkish soldiers. I was then the head of the Diyarbakir Human Rights
Association. How could I have known then, that later on, I would work with
you as a duly elected parliamentarian and also be present at the time of your
martyrdom! Who could forget the direct, brief and clear manner in which
you would express your thoughts at party meetings when you took your turns
to talk on the decisions that effected all of us? Who could forget your
willingness and enthusiasm with which you shouldered the tasks that were
assigned to you, that meticulous striving while on duty? Who could forget
your sincere loyalty to the people and the struggle based on decisiveness, your
trust in organized struggle and your courage against the oppressors, and that
warm smile and humor-filled style amongst your friends? Don’t worry, I am
not writing these lines to praise you; I know that you do not need praise.

You will remember we did many things together. We were also
together during what turned out to be your last assignment in Batman. On
September 2, 1993, Batman was once again smeared in blood, one of the DEP
officials, Habip Kilic was martyred in an attack by the so called “unknown
assailants.Ó As a result of this event, the Executive Council of the DEP met
and decided to send a fact finding mission to Batman. The committeeÕs task
was to pay a visit to the victimÕs loved ones and also undertake contacts with
the local people and to tell them that their party DEP stood by them in these
difficult times. Kemal Bilget, Nesimi Kilic, Leyla Zana, Remzi Kartal, Ali
Yigit, Nizamettin Toguc and myself towards the end of the day flew to
Diyarbakir. As soon as we landed at the airport, the police surrounded us and
detained Mr. Kilic. When they put him into the police car, you were there
and told us that you recognized the person with sun glasses and dark
complexion, the infamous informer Aladdin Kanat who was in the police car.
When we went to Police headquarters to see to it that our friend Mr. Kilic was
released, we were told that Mr. Kilic was detained by orders from the Police
Chief in Batman the city of our destination. We insisted that he be released
and he was and we later surmised that his detention was ploy to delay our
mission to the city. We stayed in Diyarbakir that night and left for Batman
early in the morning.

The first thing we did when we arrived in Batman was to send Mr.
Kartal and Mr. Toguc to meet with the Police Chief in Batman. After they
returned, we paid a visit to the family of the Mr. Habip Kilic and held a
meeting with the party rank and file. In the afternoon, we began our visits to
local businesses, and addressed the assembled crowds. Throughout the visit,
we noticed that we were being followed or some might say ÒprotectedÓ by the
police. However, on September 4, our usual unofficial company of police
officers were no where to be found. We assessed the situation with local party
officials and concluded that we needed to be more careful. We visited the
people of Batman; the Kurdish people came out in large numbers to greet us.
We established a very warm dialog especially with local businessmen who
were considered to be the base of the Hizbullah Party. There was a lot of
anxiety about the bloodshed in the city. All wanted the killing “by unknown
assailants” come to a halt and all were right.

When the group that had Mr. Kartal, Mr. Yigit and I concluded our
work and came back to the party building around 6 p.m., we received a
telephone call about the attack on you from behind by an armed person who
the eyewitnesses later told us was short, stocky and dark complexioned. We
ran immediately to the scene. Even though less than five minutes had
passed over the event, the police milled everywhere and were busy with
checking the identity cards of our party members who were part of the group
that was attacked. Our friend Kemal Bilget who survived the attack unhurt
told us that you, Mr. Toguc and the chief provincial official of our party Metin
Ozdemir were wounded. He also said he thought you and Mr. Toguc were
critical condition and that all of you were taken to the hospital right away.

Dear Mehmet, we both witnessed the events that I have just narrated
so far, but what about what followed thereafter? With your permission, I
would also like to tell you about them. When we arrived at the hospital, we
learned that you had already reached martyrdom and so had Mr. Ozdemir,
but that Mr. TogucÕs wound was light. In less than fifteen minutes following
the event, with a faint smile and open eyes, you were listening to the police
announcements over the laud speakers that declared the beginning of a
martial law starting at 6:30 p.m.. You were aware of the entire plan, weren’t
you? How ready and present was the State? Within ten minutes, how
quickly they had brought the entire city under their control. Neither in
Batman nor in Ankara, did any state official felt the need to call us and ask us
anything related to the event. Ahmet Cem Ersever, the Turkish colonel who
founded and worked for JITEM, an army intelligence group with shadowy
links, later confessed to your murder and perhaps in so doing he himself
became a victim of murder Òby unknown assailants.Ó Let me quote you what
he said about you, “Alaattin Kanat and Adem Yakin of Batman were
involved in the event (assassination) of Mehmet Sincar. Let me say this also,
Aladdin Kanat will never pull the trigger. He is the brain of the team. Adem
Yakin was in on this with Mr. Kanat. Mr. Yakin rose to the level of a
commander within the PKK. He then became a turncoat. He and others are
residing, since 1986, in the housing complex of the OHAL (OHAL is a Turkish
acronym of “Olaganustu Hal” which literally means Administration for
Extra-Ordinary Times in Turkish Kurdistan). The State is nurturing these
turncoats. Go and ask Unal Erkan (the Governor of OHAL) do these
turncoats have any official titles? Then, why are they residing in (OHAL’s)
housing complex? Adem Yakin has been living in the complex since 1986.
The assassin of this team is Adem Yakin. He is short, dark in complexion and
stocky.”

This is how it is my dear friend… The script of the events that rolled
after we arrived at Diyarbakir is thus crystal clear and the aggressors of this
attack are well known. I would dare say that this script might have been
written even at the moment you did not rise to your feet for the President (of
Turkey) at the opening ceremony of the national Assembly… As you will
remember very well that President Suleyman Demirel clearly made all of us a
target in his opening speech that day, and almost all of the representatives at
the Assembly applauded his words approvingly.

Under these circumstances, how could we take your body to the
Turkish Grand National Assembly when there was such a clear
encouragement and approval by the Assembly to target us for their hatred?
How could we ignore the fact that the bullets that were emptied on you came
from the same source that empties bullets daily on our (Kurdish) people? I
am absolutely sure that should you have been alive you would have
understood us and concurred with us in refusing to give in to the demands
that we should hold a ceremony for you in the Turkish parliament.

At the DEP offices, we decided to pick your body up from the hospital
morgue for a civil ceremony at our headquarters. Then we were going to take
you to the Maltepe Mosque for a religious ceremony. Then we were going to
fly you to Kiziltepe, your birthplace in Kurdish province of Mardin.
However, the powers that be afraid of the demonstrations of the tens of
thousands of people decided to stop our program. They did not even allow us
to pick you from the hospital. They prevented hundreds of busses carrying
thousands of people to even enter the city of Ankara. They closed Necatibey
street where the headquarters of our party office is located to all traffic. They
surrounded the party building with a wall of police. They prevented even the
senior officials of the party from reaching the building. These partners of the
crime against you would not let us perform a burial ceremony, to achieve this
end they unleashed with no sense of concern, a great terror.

They openly told us: “We won’t return (the body of) your
representative. We will take him from the hospital to the party building in a
vehicle. We will allow only the party officials and representatives to
participate in the civil ceremony. Also, we will take him from the party
building to the mosque with a vehicle without the participation of the
masses.” Tell me please, could we accept a condition that forced on us such a
humiliating imposition? Was not unleashing of such a terror at the last
journey of a Kurdish representative an admission of guilt, while encouraging
tens and thousands people to participate at the ceremony of Ugur Mumcu?

That is how things were, dear Mehmet….Do you understand now why
we were not with you when the State took you to Kiziltepe for burial? Did I
make myself clear? They murdered you and they buried you, allowing only
eight people to be present. Both at the time of the killing and at the time of
burial, they were guilt-ridden, scared and cursed. Whereas your chin was up
and you had nothing to be ashamed of. You have became immortal and
established your throne in the hearts of millions of people. How fortunate
you are!… You should be proud of your entire family, especially of your dear
father Tevfik, our beloved Uncle, now the father of three martyred sons and
of your wife Mrs. Cihan Sincar. They have displayed tenacity, loyalty and
decisiveness worthy of the greatest pens. I have learned once again that the
Kurdish people has earned the right to be proud of its martyrs and of the
honorable families of their martyrs. Let me repeat it also that do not worry
about your children…. They are in the care of the Kurdish people and the
Kurdish movement. They are the owners of a glistening treasury that they
inherited from their father and from their two uncles.

Dear Mehmet, as I part company from you, please convey my respects
and admiration to the memories of our other martyrs, Ape Musa, Vedat
Aydin, Muhsin Melik and to all of the known and unknown fighters of the
Kurdish liberation. I am kissing your eyes that smile to our freedom.