The Mother of Peace, Meles Tekin, has died at the age of 75.
Tekin, who was the mother of 11 children, devoted her life to the struggle for peace and regularly attended peaceful demonstrations in Turkey. In 2014, she participated in a demonstration held in Urfa’s (Riha) Suruç border against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), and also took part in peace protests from Mardin (Mêrdîn) to Şırnak (Şırnex).
In 2015, she even participated as a “human shield” in a protest with a group of Peace Mothers in order to prevent a possible conflict in the countryside of Bagok Mountain. She was detained with 19 people. Despite her detention, she continued to take part in peaceful activism.
After her son Ahmet Tekin (Bahoz Agir) died in a clash in Bitlis on 13 January 2017, Meles Tekin continued her struggle for peace in order to prevent other mothers from suffering in the same way. She was sentenced to four years and two months in prison for the allegation of “helping a terrorist organisation”. After her sentence was upheld, Tekin was arrested in April 2018 and sent to the Mardin E-type Closed Prison.
Despite her illness, Tekin was not released because of a report from the Forensic Medicine Institute (ATK) claiming she could stay in prison. She was eventually released after 18 months due to an amendment in the execution law. Tekin, who struggled with several diseases after her release, died of organ failure in Mardin hospital where she was being treated.
The only thing she wanted was peace
Her son Mehmet Tekin told the story of Meles Tekin’s life to the Mesopotamia Agency (MA), stating that the prison process affected his mother’s health conditions negatively. Nonetheless, her demand for peace did not end.
Mehmet praised his mother’s influence: ”Her life was a struggle. She continued her struggle also in prison. Today, we are sad for our mother, but actually we see the Peace Mothers as mothers for us all. She was the mother of the Kurds. Her last words were: ‘Let this blood stop, let there be peace'”.