Exhibition in Istanbul marks the 31st anniversary of the Madımak Massacre

On the occasion of the 31st anniversary of the Madımak Massacre, an exhibition featuring the pictures of those who lost their lives in the massacre was opened by the Madımak Massacre Memory Center.

An exhibition was organized by the Madımak Massacre Memory Center on the31st anniversary of the burning and murder of 33 people in the Madımak Hotel during the Pir Sultan Abdal Cultural Festival on 2 July 1993 in Sivas.

The exhibition, which will remain open until 2 July, is hosted by the Istiklal Art Gallery.

Nevin Kamilağaoğlu, President of the Confederation of European Alevi Unions, said: “It has been exactly 31 years when 33 of our people were killed in the center of Turkey. They were burned alive. We want to confront the pain we have suffered so that it does not happen again."

'We had only our saz in our hands'

Ali Çağan, who survived the massacre, recalled the days leading up to the massacre as well as what happened on 2 July. Stating that he was a member of the Board of Directors of the Pir Sultan Abdal Cultural Association at the time of the massacre, Çağan said: “We went from Ankara to Sivas by bus to sing our folk songs, perform our semahs, and perform the Pir Sultan Abdal theater. We had nothing but our saz in our hands. That was a massacre unprecedented in the world."

'The real criminals were not brought to justice'

Project General Coordinator Eylem Şen also underlined that there should be a confrontation for the democratization of the country. Şen said: “The real criminals behind this massacre have not been brought to justice for 31 years. The role of the state here was not told. The state did not apologize to the Alevi community. There was a pogrom against the Alevis in Sivas 31 years ago, and nobody has been brought to justice."

Shahriban Metin, the older sister of Handan Metin, who lost her life in the massacre, said that her sister was very dedicated to art and music. She said that Handan was 20 years old and added: “Now that 31 years have passed, it means nothing to me. Handan is 20 years old for me."

Beyoğlu mayor Inan Güven said: "Sivas has been a wound in our hearts since that day. It brings tears to our eyes every year."

The opening of the exhibition ended with the screening of the documentary "Unforgettable Madımak Virtual Museum".