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January 01, 2012, Sunday

Hopes for the New Year

New years are always met with celebrations of joy and hope. But, this year, the deaths of 35 civilians caused by military forces cast a shadow over the celebrations.

Yet, Turkish columnists share the opinion that despite our agony and mourning, hope should remain for 2012 as it will be a year that will be marked by a new constitution.

Star’s Fehmi Koru noted that the perpetrators of the killings of 35 civilians must have also aimed to make Turkish people enter 2012 with disappointment. People always hope to enter a new year expecting a better world in which to live a better life and desiring to forget every sad memory of the previous year; however, somebody who “gave false intelligence” and who “did not feel a need to consult others before ordering the attack” caused us to enter 2012 with agony, frustration and suspicion. Koru said what he would like to suggest to his readers is that we should not let our hopes for Turkey be ruined by this conspiracy against Turkey’s improvements in recent years. Koru underscored that Turkey has been achieving many successes in a variety of fields. And it is very likely that it will continue to be a “rising star” in the coming years. Koru noted that the greatest challenge for the government is to understand people’s needs and problems. The good news is it finally did in 2011. Now it is time for other closed-minded people to overcome their stubbornness in recognizing other people’s sphere of freedom.

Milliyet’s Derya Sazak said we have been just like “the man who does not want to enter a new year” from a movie since we heard about the “mistaken” attack on 35 civilians. With such a tragedy we are closing a year in which we have made great progress in terms of dealing with previous tragedies such as Dersim, a 1937 massacre in the predominantly Alevi region of Dersim, and the Maraş massacre, in which 111 Alevis died and thousands were wounded in 1978. Sazak quoted Pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) Chairman Selahattin Demirtaş in saying, “We have to regard this tragedy as our common agony and mourning.” We were able to do it after the Van earthquake on Oct. 23, he noted. “We were united into a single heart because of Van. We did our best to console the survivors of the earthquake. It should be the same with this tragedy as well; seeing it as our common tragedy requires more than being sad for the loss. The government and the media must seek the truth behind the incident. Now the government is being tested for its sincerity with regard to its Kurdish initiative,” Sazak noted.

Taraf’s Yıldıray Oğur said that the tragedy in Şırnak did not prevent us from celebrating the new year, whereas a tsunami in Indonesia in 2004, a terrorist attack on a military outpost in the Dağlıca district of Hakkari province in 2007 and Israel’s attack on a ship taking aid to Palestine’s Gaza could, in fact, make many people decide not to celebrate the new year. Oğur pointed out that it seems that Indonesians and Palestinians turned out to be closer than Kurds to the Turkish people. Oğur admits that it is a harsh criticism he is making, but he highlights that it has to be done in order to call on people to have more sensitivity to this tragedy.

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