Newroz fire lit with the slogan “Dem Dema Serfektinê ye” (Now is the time to win) was first lit in Beytüşşebap this year. And among the Northern Kurdish majority provinces in Turkey, the ‘Serhat’ provinces, this year’s first Newroz fire was lit in Erciş, Van (Wan) with the same slogan.
In Erciş, in the land where one of the worst massacres suffered by the Kurds, the Zilan Valley Massacre took place, Newroz was celebrated with enthusiasm.
The square, decorated with flags of the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) and Democratic Regions Party (DBP), was crowded mostly with women and youth. Although the air temperature was at minus 5˚C, nearly 10 thousand people filled the Newroz square, not minding the cold. Women in traditional and colourful dressing danced the halay while the Peace Mothers stood at the very front.
HDP Erciş district Co-Chair Bayram Çiçek spoke to the crowd and said: “We have lit the Newroz fire again in Erciş after 5 years. We are struggling against the Dehak’s and the tyrants. Today is the time for the Kurdish people for emancipation. Newroz is the price Sema Yüce, Kemal Pir or the thousands have paid. We have to hold onto them. We will not forget such prices paid and we will be worthy of them. There have been massacres of Kurds in Zilan valley, in Ağrı and in Koçgiri. But nobody should forget, we never bowed down and we will never! The Kurds will hold onto their histories and the truth. The Kurds will protect their culture, their language and those who struggle for Kurdistan.”
Newroz is the Response to Oppression
The Co-Mayor of Erciş Municipality Yıldız Çetin, in place of whom a trustee has been appointed from Ankara, also spoke and told that the celebration was a response to the oppression, noting that even though trustee was appointed stealing the outcome of the elections, the people of Erciş again showed their reaction in the elections.
Honorable Peace will Arrive in this Country
Handan Karakoyun, Co-Chair in Van, spoke after Çetin and said, “Newroz is a day of resistance against Kurdish Genocide. (…) Everybody should know; an honorable peace will arrive in this country for sure. All powers that wish to extinguish us should look at the Newroz crowds.”
Newroz Fire Lit
Group Aryen Kom took the stage after the speeches and performed their songs. Together with the songs was the first Newroz fire lit. The women danced the halay around the Newroz fire.