Ahmet Aslan: Two fallen brothers and a son in the guerrilla

Ahmet Aslan had nine siblings, his two brothers died in the Kurdish liberation struggle. Years later, his son also joined the guerrilla.

Ahmet Aslan's two brothers died in the Kurdish liberation struggle, his son is still in the mountains. The family comes from Hewrê in the province of Amed and moved to the provincial capital in the 1970s. In addition to his fallen brothers, Ahmet Aslan has seven sisters.

He told of his brothers: “My little brother Mehmet graduated from Dicle University in 1991 as a civil engineer. My other brother Welat was born in Amed after we moved from the village and graduated from high school here. He got a place at the Istanbul Technical University. He was arrested there and was imprisoned for a while. Then he disappeared. His older brother Mehmet disappeared while he was working as a civil engineer. We later found out that both of them had joined the liberation movement."

Then the news came that the two brothers had fallen as martyrs. One brother's body was found and buried in Amed. The other brother's grave is still unknown. Ahmet Aslan looked for it for years. He was informed that his brother was buried in the village of Düzağaç in Bingöl. "We followed the trail and finally came to where the villagers said the grave was supposed to be, but it was not there. We didn't find the grave," said Aslan, describing the search.

In 2013, Aslan's son Ali Firat followed his uncles' path and went to the mountains. He never heard from him again. It is difficult to describe the parents' longing for their children, he said and added: "The feelings of the mothers are difficult to put into words. Perhaps they can be described by looking at the photos on the wall or by the constantly wait for the doorbell to ring, but no one else can explain what a mother feels in such a situation. She gives birth to a child and look after him, and then suddenly he disappears. It was also very difficult for my father. As a big brother, I could understand the feelings of my parents, but when my son left, I have understood them even better."

Aslan said: "We wish that the coming generations can live in peace and in a democratic atmosphere of brotherhood. Families like ours have no other wish. We do not want wealth. My two brothers went to college, they could have worked and made good money, but they chose a different path. Some of her old friends have made careers and avoid us when they see us. We have always stayed true to our line."