Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Türkan Saylan...


Babama Türkan Saylan'ın öldüğünü söylemedik. Şuuru tam anlamıyla yerinde olsaydı, Türkan Saylan'ın vefat haberine çok üzülmüş olurdu herhalde. Her Türk aydını gibi Halis Aydıntaşbaş da eğitim sorunun Türkiye'nin öncelikli meselelerinden biri olduğunun farkındaydı. Gerçi Çağdaş Yaşamı Destekleme Derneği üyesi değildi. Ama yaklaşık 15 yıl önce Turkan Saylan'la tanışmış, derneğin binalarından birinin restorasyonu için Türkan Hanım'la epeyi sohbet etmiş, ondan sonra da ceşitli vesilelerle karşılaştıklarında hep laflamışlardı. Babam bugün hastanedeki odasında yatarken, Türkan Hanım'ın cenazesi bir kaç yüz metre ilerdeki Teşvikiye Camii'nden kalkacak, kortej hastanenin yakınında kıvrılarak Zincirlikuyu mezarlığına gidecek. 19 Mayıs günü anlamlı bir tören. Ne mutlu bu genç cumhuriyete. Babam gibi Türkan Saylan gibi yüzbinlerce idealist aydının çabalarıyla hep ileriye gitti...

Türkan Saylan -- We didn't tell Dad that Turkan Saylan, a prominent activist for secular education, has passed away. If Dad was in a conscious state, he would have been very upset at the news of her death, as well as her recent detainment under very questionable charges. Like many Turkish intellectuals, Dad knew that education was among the biggest problems in Turkey. He wasn't a member of Saylan's Organization to Support Contemporary Life, which was an NGO dedicated to secular education and scholarship for girls, particularly in eastern Turkey, but he had met Saylan about 15 years ago when she consulted him on a few things regarding a building renovation project. Dad had nice things to say about her and they would occasionally run into each other in various social events in Istanbul. As Dad lies on his hospital bed, Turkan Saylan's funeral today will be in Tesvikiye mosque a few hundred yards away. Then there will be a funeral procession, almost passing by the American Hospital on its way to the Zincirlikuyu graveyard. Today is May 19th, the day that marks the beginning of our war of independence led by Mustafa Kemal against invading armies. One cannot help think how great it is to be living in a country where idealism and the yearning for progress is still very much alive, in the deeds of thousands of people like Dad or Turkan Saylan.

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