I came to Kayseri, in 1994, with my wife. I have been working as a building officer since then. By the way, I could not retire even though my insurance premium was completed. I’m caught up in my age. I’m currently waiting for retirement age. In these conditions.
We came from the village for the following reasons: Our livelihood was not good in the village. We did not have anything left from the field, property or what our father and mother left us. We came to the big city Kayseri in hopes of working hard towards our goals and our future. We wanted our children to have a good future here. We came to prevent our children from suffering.
We have two children. We’ve given them an education. They studied in state schools. My son attended a military high school. He studied at the Turkish Military Academy. Then he went to Black Aviation. They were dismissed because of the July 15 incident. We do not know exactly why. Because I’m sure of my child. We live in this house in difficult conditions. My other little boy is also going to school. He is also studying in Izmir. He also lives in the dorm. The stress of caring for them is more than enough for us.
That night, the commander called, saying, “You have a class today, you have a night flight.” They gathered 40-50 people to the casino. They kept them there until 6:30 in the morning. They did not even send them to main entrance. They were told they could leave in the morning because the course of the evening had changed. That is all … students, trainee.
- What is he charged with?
He is accused of helping and abetting the coup. Since they could not find any illegal activities in his file, they said he aided the coup and punished him for abetting.
- How long was he sentenced?
12 years 6 months. The file is currently on appeal. We do not know what will happen. He was 23 years old when these events occurred. He is now 26 years old. I do not have an expectation of justice being served as a citizen of Turkey. I have no serious expectations. Justice does not spread widely. This is my opinion as a citizen. I am waiting for the justice to be corrected, from the elders. I want state officials to distribute justice equally to all.
Don’t get me wrong. Not because my child lies inside. I say it today because I think justice is more troublesome than before. They continue to follow the justice of the 80s and 90s. For this reason, I want justice to be improved.
I can go once a month. Since I am financially troubled, I can only visit and come back once a month. We are also having trouble there. As a man, I can face these troubles. I’m not complaining. But they are causing problems for the women and mothers. There are serious problems. I expect these to be corrected by the Ministry of Justice and to eliminate such problems in the women’s sector.
I have a very emotional moment when I see my child. Let me put it this way, every time I see him, I feel as though I have entered the world again for the first time. When I arrive, I feel as though I am born again when I see my child and give him a hug. I live in this pain.
There is nothing. My pain continues. Nothing.
His mother works in the house cleaning. Without this income, it would be almost impossible to get by. We especially want the authorities to understand and focus on this issue. But I don’t know, there is no support from anywhere. For example, those who work at minimum wage jobs, those who work at the factory. There have been no efforts made to help these people whether it be financially or emotionally.
I cry a lot; I cry every day. Why has my hair gone grey? My father’s hair began greying after the age of 60. I’m 50 years old with a white beard. Why is it getting greying? It all happened in the last 4 years.
It was very difficult to provide my eldest son with a proper education as our financial situation at the time was less than ideal. It was when we had just moved. We couldn’t send him to the school he wanted. At that time, the conditions wouldn’t allow it. There is no school now. He could not go to the school at that time. Allah gave that school a fortune.
The boy convinced me to send him to the military school. He even got accepted to Baldöktü Anatolian High School here. I said, “Look, son, your school is here, don’t go far.” “-Dad, I will be a soldier, I will be a commander,” he said. He went on his own desire. He even broke his arm. He was angry with me. He jumped from somewhere, fell, broke his arm. In his first year, he went to school with his arm broken. The first year of military high school. He was so eager.
Our younger son also started school here. The two of them really pushed us for an education. If his mother did not do house cleaning, we would not be able to catch up.
Our livelihood is supported with minimum wage. As a building guard, we are given 2500 lira. One of my children lies inside bars. The other is studying in Izmir. I do my best to find extra jobs after my normal work hours just to be able to send them some pocket money. Jobs are not always available. I work if I can find it. If their mother can find work, she goes to the house cleaning. This is how we get along.
Thanks to some generous neighbours, they are providing minor assistance. For example, things like shoes, sweaters, shirts. They help. We are trying to get along this way. I see it this way. I am a person who loves our state, our homeland, our flag, my adhan before me. I live right now with this in mind. Even if they put me in this situation, I put my life in my home as a set against the enemy. I put my body as a set so as not to give a pebble from my homeland. I am this, I live this way. In this way, I tried to have my children educated.
We came here from the village. To give our children an education. This is exactly what we did.
- What happened, auntie?
I worked hard to put them through school. I put in effort. I never got to go to school so he could. This was the result.
- What was your son?
Lieutenant, trainee lieutenant. He was studying aviation in Ankara. He was a student trainee. They took him from there. He was going to be a pilot; he was almost done. I said I did go to school, so let my child get an education and a job. As long as I work.
- What are you doing?
Home cleaning. Glass, door, house cleaning. Clean the toilets, educate. This is the result. I expect justice to be replaced. I work in 1O apartment. I can’t afford both. I have trouble balancing this and that. I have no power to do business. We meet once a month, we meet with difficulties. They hurt us there.
- Can you tell us what you have lived through?
By God, it was terrible. They questioned us very badly. They study everything, they look. They make you wait for hours only to speak to you for 35 minutes. They make you suffer. How does it feel to be there? Your hands are ice cold. Anyone who has lived through it knows. “I will be a soldier; I will go to school.” he said. “-Do not go, don’t do it my son,” I told him. He said, “No, I will be a soldier, I will study for the homeland” . My son is not guilty. When my son finished secondary school, he went directly to a military high school. He grew up there. This boy studied at the school of the state. He didn’t go anywhere, he didn’t come. We trusted the state’s school. “Let’s go to the school of the state and study there, do not stand on the street.” I don’t know, God give goodness.
I’m waiting for justice, what should I expect? May divine justice be manifested. Let him be saved, and I will be saved from disgrace. That’s all I’m going to say. Let my son out? My son has no faults, he has committed no crime. What can I say? I expect justice. I want my baby to come home as soon as possible. That day will be my holiday. May my angel-faced son come.
I have nothing else to say. When my child comes back home, I will be reborn. That day will be my holiday.
- Do you miss him?
How could I not? How a person waits for water in the desert, how he wants to see the table when he is hungry. Just like that, I want to see my baby next to me.
- Of course, you don’t believe he’s guilty.
I absolutely do not believe it. It is not just my child, there are thousands of people there who are just like him. I do not believe any of them are guilty. I also believe it is slander. One of his friends or soldiers has been a false witness. There is a problem there. Slanderer, confessor.
May Allah not give anyone this pain. I am as sure of my child as I am of my name. Willingly, he left willingly. I told him, “Don’t go my baby, we won’t be able to give you your education.” He would go to the military from the neighbourhood we were living in and join the soldiers.
- May Allah help you. Is there anything you want to say?
What I would like to say; May Allah Almighty help all the families in my situation. May Allah give them the happiness and peace they want.