'What was the point?' - YAŞAR TAŞKIN KOÇ

'What was the point?'

Most of what has been happening is not new.

By the end of the 19th century, hundreds of thousands of seasonal workers were traveling between continents.

We don't need to go that far back actually…

My dream was to go to Vienna and learn German. I would be a journalist who spoke a foreign language. Vienna University was accepting Turkish students free of charge and I was accepted into journalism. Three friends, we took off to get enrolled. As we were crossing the border by train, tens of thousands of our cognates were piled up to cross to this side from Bulgaria.

As the train passed them by, it had become clear that their wait would take longer than expected. Turkey had first said the final word and in response, then head of state of the People's Republic of Bulgaria, Todor Zhivkov, piled people up at the gate. The brakes were pulled and there they were waiting.

Contrary to what we expected, Bulgarian railway authorities and border officers were kind. The surprise was saved for Yugoslavia. They rejected them without any reason. I remember a passenger who jumped off the train and headed toward the mountains. A short while later those mountains would turn into a blood bath. I have no idea what happened to the person who jumped off the train. But we know what happened to Zhivkov. The East bloc gradually started to disperse. Then it was going to pour down like an avalanche. Hundreds of Russians lined up side by side at parks in Vienna were selling everything from Zenith cameras to binoculars, pots and pans and gloves. This was the first “Russian bazaar” I had seen.

Later, many were set up in Turkey.

Then, during the years as a journalist after returning from the short-lived Austrian adventure, first the Kurds piled up at the border after the first Gulf War was marked in my memory.

Now the UN says 60 million people are in refugee status.

Routine deaths continue to go into statistics.

Just before 80 more people drowned off the Libyan coast.

One of the news we are ready to hear repeated all summer is basically in this disorder.

The terror organization in Nusaybin is disintegrating and they are surrendering by the dozens.

Apparently one of them told a US journalist, “What was the point, I thought it was meaningless to die here from the very beginning.”

In the meantime, photographs claimed to show US soldiers are leaked to websites – the ones wearing Democratic Union Party (PYD) uniforms.

Aleppo, Fallujah and Raqqa are now at the center, at the focus of big and heavy conflicts and bombardments now.

An organization that has those surrendering on one side and those who still continue attacks throwing handmade bombs from afar.

None of this is new.

Just like in the past, when the other facets of life continued to flow alongside all that was happening.

Just like when terror ignited again back in those years, and my father who was watching a rating machine main news bulletin said, “such a liar, they gave the same news yesterday,” upon which I asked, “then why are you watching it?” and he laughed.

Back then the famous Warsaw Treaty dispersed with a bang.

The numbers and names of countries we memorized changed.

Muslims were massacred in the Balkans, then a similar atrocity emerged in Africa.

Everything was left unfinished with the physical division of Iraq.

Now we are watching new ripples.

We will see only in time whether the results will be successful.

Among all this, those who go adrift and die and are killed without being asked their opinion, without giving them a chance to decide or choose, will have gone or are already gone.

As those who surrendered said, “What was the point?”

Such a late and burning question now for those who died, those who were killed and those who killed…

A question asked when it is almost too late for an action that has no meaning for the one asking the question, or the one who was used, but only for those using them.

Other than the life or death wars fought as a nation, this has been the inevitable final question of all struggles in history that included weapons, and it will continue to be so.

Not only for such attacks, but is it not the same for May 27, which was celebrated as a national holiday when we were children and was later abolished by coup?

What now is left other than a painful memory for those who made history saying “What was the point?” after they first welcomed and supported it with joy?

Other than a bitter question containing the answer within it…
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