Chairman of the Vatan Party
Aydınlık, January 18, 2017
We usually decide writing on our comrades after losing them. This time, I wanted to make a different approach to my comrade Mehmet Günay who recently passed away. I wrote on him before losing him at the very last days of his life. It was actually a letter of farewell. He was also aware of that he will leave us in a short while but he never made us feel in that way. He emphasized his trust and hope for the future in every of our telephone conversations.
Yes, we look to the future with trust. Because Turkey has heroes like Mehmet Günay.
Yılmaz Ölmez, Osman Taşyumru, Mehmet Günay, Doğu Perinçek, Durmuş Uyanık and Kamil Dede
in the Avşar village of Söke on 30 March 1997
"Don't worry, we have plenty to do..."
When I called Mehmet Günay, he was just got out of the chemotherapy. He said, "Please don't mind the problem in my voice; it sounds a bit obtuse as a side effect of the treatment," then he added, "Don't worry. We have plenty to do."
I've known Mehmet Günay for 46 years. He was always faithful to his word. He has followed his half a century promise throughout his life. He never left his job incomplete and he run for any sort of work before anyone. Besides, he was always cheerful under every tense. No one has seen him upset.
Working with a beautiful smile is maybe the best way to overcome problems.
Comrades I'm embracing their voice
Mehmet Günay stayed in the prison for almost 3 years during the 12 March Coup D'état period. Then he got out of the prison and became a neighborhood representative after going back to his village. He was from Köprüalan village of the Söke district of the Aydın province. He was at the front-line of the organised independence and labor struggle since the beginning of the 70s. We've last seen each other at a congress in Aydın province. He made a speech summarizing his experiences. He was chosen as a delegate to the general assembly of our party at that congress.
Whenever we face difficulties, we have comrades of whom we always need to hear their voices. I embrace their voices. Their voice calms your conscious and warm up your heart. Their voice is like the sound of a flowing water. Mehmet Günay was one of them. His conscious and heart was always ready for the duty for 24 hours. He has remained the same for 46 years. He never showed a sign of pessimism. He had almost banned being hopeless for himself.
Heaven on earth
To be a member of the Vatan Party is like breathing for the comrades like Mehmet Günay and at the same time it means to rediscover the equality, brotherhood, sharing; briefly the cooperation that we've lost thousands of years ago.
Durmuş Uyanık of the Avşar village who passed away last year described in a literal way that how the people of the Söke village became vanguards of the peasant society.
Mehmet Günay was always productive in his whole life. He was a hardworking farmer; a chief looking after his village; a revolutionary dedicated to his struggle of labor; an intellectual peasant who is reading and researching; a good wife and finally a father.
Outsiders consider being a member of the Vatan Party as a difficult job. In fact, those people are not aware of the core of that struggle. It is actually a cradle of happiness and life. You can see this reality in the personality of Mehmet Günay.
Being a part of this political movement is something like regenerating yourself. If you ask whether there is a heaven on earth to the people like Mehmet Günay, they would probably say "yes"; living the life as a part of this struggle is just like living the heaven on earth.
Guarantee of the Turkish Republic
The photo above was taken during our visit with another comrade Kamil Dede in Avşar village of the Söke district on March 30, 1997. How can a person be pessimistic while looking at the smiles of these villagers.
Those smiles will never die; they are the greatest heritage from a father to his son. Mehmet Bakan's son Erdoğan Bakar who is strongly reflecting his father's strong personality is the current chief of the Avşar village. Sons and daughters of our other comrades are also on the way of their fathers.
Some of our intellectuals are hopeless as they don't know our comrades like Mehmet Günay. They are tired as they are not aware of the unique human resources of Anatolia and Thrace. However no one is obliged to be a part of that tiresome struggle. Their exhaustion comes from their loneliness. Loneliness is a wrong choice. It is in our power to fold our two hands.
You will see that Turkey will get through this difficult period with the unity of homeland and production economy. Because Turkey has heroes like Mehmet Günay.
Who is Mehmet Günay?
Mehmet Günay was born on June 16, 1942 in the Avşar village of Söke, Aydın. He was a primary school graduate with 2 children. He stayed in the Mamak Prison in Ankara during the March 12th Coup D'état in the same jail cell with the famous Turkish investigative journalist Uğur Mumcu who later on killed by counter-guerrilla in 90s. After his release from the prison he went back to his village Köprüalan and then became the chief of the village. He was arrested again on September 12thCoup D'état.
He wrote many editorials in the local newspapers particularly in Pamuk Çiçeği (Cotton Dye). He made researches on cottonseed and led many initiatives for the use of domestic seed rather than export seed in agriculture.
He died on January 16, 2017 due to cancer.
Mehmet Günay has recently introduced himself before his death as a "peasant leader" and a follower of the Aydınlık (Enlightenment) movement.