I wish I could tell my children that they do not need to fear tomorrow, that we could go out and celebrate together. Yet, they will go to school tomorrow, their school bus avoiding "trouble" spots, and I will not drive anywhere.
Happy International Workers Day to all. Dad, can you be a guest writer and tell us about that fateful day in 1977?
How ironic and hypocritical of me, right? At least my heart is in the right place.
And here's my dad's story, as posted on the comments section, but I will paste it here as well:
Dad, as guest writer, remembers May Day 1977:
We marched from Dolmabahce to Taksim under the banner of University Teachers' Association. Although I was a member of the Turkish Workers' Party, we had been asked to join our professional associations during the march. When we arrived at Taksim Square there was already more than 100,000 people there; mostly workers and university students. More people marched in until there was hardly any space left.
It was the second "legal" celebration of May Day since the early 1930's. We were very happy, chanting slogans, singing, etc. At about 4 PM, when that enormous crowd started to disperse, we heard gunshots and all hell broke loose. (Later it was claimed, but never proved, that the shots were fired from the 6th floor of Hotel Intercontinental ).
Inci and I were caught in the middle of the gunfire. I could see bullets hitting the ground next to our feet. Inci was so petrified with terror that she could hardly move. I realized that if we could not get out of the target area we would be shot soon. I pushed her towards the iron fence of the park in the middle of the square. She didn't move, she was in shock. I lifted her and jumped over the fence. I put her down and covered her body with mine. I could still see the bullets hitting people right and left. 10 meters away, a police panzer ran over a woman and I saw her bones sticking up from her wounds where the vehicle's tires passed. We stayed there about 20 minutes until the gunfire stopped then crawled away to the relative safety of a building's entrance. We took the late night train to Ankara. Inci was still in shock.
37 people were killed that day. We remember them as victims of a senseless and cruel plot to subdue the working people of our country.