Günay Öğrener

“Life is beautiful if you can live that way, death is beautiful if you can die that way.”

Our comrade Gunay Ogrener was born in Mersin on November 18, 1973. Originally they came from Burdur. To be virtuous and seek justice were the two feelings that gave her direction almost all her life. Her father was a policeman. Her father often talked to them of justice, but the justice her father referred to was the justice of the state, the justice of fascism. Her father was a cog in its machinery. Her father was punished in Mersin in 1980 because of his profession. The event greatly shook her family; but in her own words, Gunay Ogrener said that it was not the police who were the epitome of correctness, justice and “model citizens”, it was the revolutionaries: the symmetry of the state had been turned upside down. It was necessary to take the revolutionaries as an example, not the state. Instead of the state’s criteria, revolutionary criteria came forward.

Gunay struggled for justice from that day onward. She took up various duties in the illegal sphere in the Aegean Region. She was detained several times and was familiar with the reality of torture at the hands of the state and the police. In 1995 she was detained and then imprisoned. Our comrade was a prisoner for nine of her 31 years. She stayed in Buca Prison until 1999. She was a witness of the slaughter of three of her comrades in 1995. She was in Usak Prison at the time of the December 19, 2000 prison massacre. Her comrades there, Yasemin Canci, Berrin Bickilar and Sevgi Erdogan, were martyred. And putting on the red headband in the same prison, she became immortal by setting herself on fire to oppose tyranny.

You will see virtue and justice in this resistance. She was released for a period of just six months; for her, there was no essential difference between being inside or outside prison; it was immaterial where you were when opposing tyranny.

As part of the resistance, s he said so in one of her last letters. I trust the Party. I believe in revolution and victory. There are many things for today and these have been experienced, but life is beautiful if you can live that way, death is beautiful if you can die that way. I feel all my honour comes from being a part of this family. Now I will increase the resistance with everything I have.

And she did increase the resistance with everything she had. She increased it with her willpower, her thoughts, her beliefs, her hunger lasting 134 days, and the flames that set her body on fire.Our resistance fighters who were aware that victory could only be achieved with martyrs, concentrated on dying in order to undermine all these methods one by one.

We are fighting for justice, as our comrade Gunay taught.

Those who suppose that they will not have to render an account for 109 deaths are deceiving themselves.

Those responsible for the biggest prison massacre in Turkey’s history will render an account, sooner or later. And those who approved of it by staying silent will also render an account.

It is the oligarchy alone that has an account to render. By ending their silence, various sections of the people, economic and democratic organisations must put an end to their complicity with the oligarchy before history. Today that means patriotism, revolutionism and democracy. Whoever is on the side of the people wages a struggle through putting their lives at stake in the resistance and for the right to resist. Those who do not do this can make no claims and assert no beliefs, either of a political or a humanitarian nature.