Tribute to guerrilla Rêzan Erzurum on the 8th anniversary of his death

Talking about his son Rêzan Erzurum on the 8th anniversary of his death, his father Rasim Ipek said: “The day Rezan was buried, there was literally no one left in the city, everyone attended the funeral."

Rêzan Erzurum (Rıdvan Ipek), fell as a martyr together with Brûsk Dersim, by carrying out a self-sacrificing action against the Nafi Karabulut Police Station in Dersim on 4 September 2015. Talking about his son, Rasim Ipek said: "Heval Rêzan was my second son. He was the coyest of everyone in the family. The whole family loved him. I loved him very much too. Heval Rêzan was loyal to his people. He didn't want anything to happen to his people. Rêzan was not a child who would fight with his siblings and children in the family. My brother and I lived together. I have 4 children, my brother has 6. Rêzan got along well with his siblings and his cousins. He used to go to school. He had a very good relationship with everyone."

Rêzan Erzurum was born in 1992 in the village of Qirimkaya in Karaçoban (Qereçoban). He did his primary school there. While he was studying in high school in Karaçoban, some of his teachers spoke against the Kurds. Rasim Ipek said: “He could not get along with his teachers there. He did not accept what his teachers said. That's why he left school. Then he went to Istanbul."

He worked in a denim grinding workshop with his brother Okan in Istanbul. He also participated in political activities because of his love for his people. There he was subjected to police pressure. Rasim Ipek stated that the police tortured his son and said: "The police were asking why he was going to the party. Why are you among the Kurdish people? My son didn't accept this attitude. He said he would go. How many times did they take him and torture him? But he was determined. After the torture at the hands of the police, he went to the mountains. He had recently been involved in youth work. We were here in Germany. Frankly, we didn't know. We told him to join us, but he said he wouldn’t."

Crowded funeral

Describing his son's relationship with him and his mother, Ipek said: "Our relationship was very good. We didn't have a father-son relationship; it was rather a relationship between two friends. He had a song. He used to sing it all the time. He would also sing that song to his mother. It was the song 'Dil dixwaze here cengê'."

Ipek said that he learned about his son's death by watching the mid-day news like everyone else.  He said: "I woke up early that morning. But there was fear inside me. As if something was about to happen. I had work in Bremen city center. I went there. I saw that my little son Memo called. ‘Dad, there were clashes in Dersim city center. I wonder if you heard anything?’ he said. I said I read about it on the internet, but I couldn't read it all. He told me he watched the news and said that one of them looked like his brother. I went home. I turned on the TV and saw that it was Rêzan. We saw it with our own eyes. The incident happened before our eyes."

Ipek left Germany as soon as he received the news of his son's death. He said: "We went to Malatya. They did not give us the body for 10-12 days. Then they delivered it in the middle of the night. We took the body and went to Varto via Elazığ, Bingöl. We stayed in Varto that night. The military did not allow us to pass. We received our son’s remains early in the morning. Of course, the Kurdish people blocked all the roads. The people had blocked all the roads from Varto to Hınıs and Karaçoban. Turkish soldiers were coming behind us with armored vehicles along with the police. We brought the body to the village around noon. There were many people and they all attended the ceremony. We buried him there. My father was alive at that time. Rêzan used to stay with my father from morning to evening. My father loved him very much too. In fact, the whole family loved him. On the day Rêzan was buried, there was almost no one left in the city, everyone came to attend the funeral. Not only our relatives and neighbours, but everyone who knew him and us came."

Rasim Ipek said: "We are very sad, of course. It is the 8th anniversary of our son’s death. We promised him that we will keep him alive in our hearts. We bow down with respect to his memory."