Frankfurt Book Fair 2014 – Frankfurt Book Fair 2015:
THE MASSACRES WE HAVE WITNESSED FROM ONE YEAR TO THE NEXT,
A JOURNEY IN NUMBERS
Last year when we came to the Frankfurt Book Fair, riots were happening throughout Turkey because the latter refused to let members of the People’s Protection Unit (YPG) and other volunteers pass over to Kobane to help defend the Kurdish area against ISIS.
Erdogan said Turkey would not help in a fight against ISIS, unless it helped to weaken to Assad.
31 civilians were killed during those riots.
The only number I can find for the civilians killed by ISIS in Kobani is “hundreds.”
This was after ISIS killed “thousands” in neighboring, largely Yazidi-populated Sinjar.
The number of women raped, made into sex slaves, and who took their lives rather than endure such torture, is unknown.
On June 5, 2015, thousands gathered in Diyarbakir at a rally for the People’s Democratic Party (HDP).
4 people were killed and over 100 injured (or maybe I should say “maimed”—a feminist filmmaker lost both of her legs, for example—that’s two legs, numbers are important here!).
The number of people traumatized: Unknown.
On July 20, 2015, a group of young people, members of the Federation of Socialist Youth Associations, were in Suruç, Diyarbakir, on their way to Kobane, to take toys to the children there and supplies and share their wishes for peace and act in solidarity with survivors.
A suicide bomber infiltrated the group, killing 34. More than 100 were injured.
The number of people traumatized: Millions.
Despite provocations, those desiring peace did not back down. They would not be provoked. And to prove that, they gathered in Ankara for a “Peace Rally” on October 10, 2015. Organized by labour unions, the rally saw thousands gather from all over the country, men, women, children, Turkish, Kurdish, Arab, Laz, Circassian, members of the People’s Republican Party, members of the People’s Democratic Party, laborers from all walks of life united around one common desire: for the violence to STOP, once and for all.
And again, the numbers. The official number is 95, no wait, 96, right now 97, maybe 98. The People’s Democratic Party (HDP) says 128. That’s the number of lives lossed. Hundreds are wounded, some critically injured, so the number will inevitably change.
Numbers numbers numbers. Every single fucking number one giant life cut short.
Just 4 Monts after the parliamentary elections that gave us such hope, that saw us take to the streets–for the first time in a long time–out of joy, we once again find ourselves grieving. And outraged.
The weight of our trauma: Immeasurable.
So if we find it a little difficult to talk about books in Frankfurt this year, please forgive us.