One Of The Black Mark On History

One Of The Black Mark On History

The story of a photo that will go down in history as a black mark, that will not leave the minds of those who see it, and that no one would believe if it was told 7 years ago:

Fatma Işık, a judge who was unfairly dismissed from her job first, then arrested and lost her two children on the difficult path she took, started working as a tax judge in Mersin in 2014. Her husband, Nasir Işık, was a trainee judge and had not yet taken office.

Fatma Işık was taken into police custody in August 2016 after the July 15 coup attempt. She was arrested on charges of being a member of FETO. She was 14 weeks pregnant at the time of her arrest and spent 4.5 months in Tarsus Prison. Meanwhile, her husband, after continuing to work as a trainee judge in Mersin Courthouse for a while, was first suspended and then dismissed by Decree-Law. A lawsuit was filed against him, but he was not arrested. Fatma Işık was released in the last months of her pregnancy. The couple Fatma and Nasir settled in a damp ground-floor house in a suburb of Mersin. Meanwhile, their son İbrahim was born. Nasir Işık started to work as a painter. However, they could not stay longer in Mersin, where they were branded as terrorists, due to the prejudiced and accusatory approach of the people. They moved to Nasir’s hometown, Siirt -a province in southeast Anatolia-, and tried to cultivate mushrooms there, but it didn’t work.

After a while, Fatma Işık was taken into police custody again due to an investigation in Tokat. After a while, Fatma Işık was taken into police custody again due to an investigation in Tokat. It takes 769 Km from Siirt to Tokat. She was not allowed to take her infant with her while she was being taken away by the police.She was not allowed to take her infant with her while she was being taken away by the police. Her husband went to Tokat with a loaned car, taking their baby. Fatma Işık was released after 6 days in custody.  Fatma Işık was taken into police custody again and taken to Adana during the control at Adana highway toll booths on their way back to their homes. After a difficult experience in custody, she was released again.

Afterwards, she was sentenced to 7.5 years in prison at the Adana High Criminal Court, where she was tried pending trial for FETÖ membership.

Işık couple had to make a difficult decision. They set out to go abroad illegally, risking death to raise their children freely.

In the last days of September 2019, a few photos, that will not be easily erased from the memories, spread from Khios to the world.

In one of the photographs, a mother and a father whose shoulders slumped in pain at the grave of two young children in an abandoned cemetery on a hill overlooking the sea. Pickaxe and wood chips on the ground…


These were the last photo frames left of a team of 18 people who found the solution to go to other countries because they were not given the right to live in their home country. The group consisted of couples and children who were tried pending trial in unlawful cases in Turkey, who were dismissed by Decree-Law, and whose passports were confiscated.

When the fiber boat they set out on September 27, 2019, capsized at around 00.30 am with the sudden maneuver of the smuggler carrying them, they were suddenly in the water. 18 people, including the smuggler, got on the boat, but 12 people survived. In this accident, babies Ibrahim (3) and Mahir (four months old) from the Işık family, Mustafa Said (12) and Meltem (40) from the Zenbil family, Kevser (58) from the Sezer family, Gülsüm (8) and Mustafa (6) from the Kara family lost their lives.

The letter Fatma Işık sent from prison in 2016 to writer Emin Çölaşan was published in Sözcü Newspaper as follows: “We have had a very difficult process. I was 16 weeks pregnant. I went through this whole process with the unborn baby that I was carrying in my belly. We are 14 female judges and prosecutors who were dismissed in the ward. More than two months have passed, and I am under arrest. While there are hundreds of detainees and convicts in the prison, only one doctor takes care of so many people. The doctor only examines Thursday afternoons. I am currently 27 weeks pregnant. This is my first pregnancy. We go to the hospital in iron handcuffs. Even the doctor’s saying that the baby is fine is enough for me. I don’t even think to ask about his weight, height or appearance. There are times I burst into tears. Believe me, I don’t even care about anything. The thing that upsets me the most is my baby growing up like this in my belly. We are both going through very difficult times. The reason why I am writing this letter to you is to make our voices heard a little bit.”

Fatma Işık lost her baby İbrahim, who was 27 weeks old at the time of writing the letter, in the Aegean waters three years later. Born after prison, Mahir suffered the same fate as his older brother.  In the Tenkil Museum, where the belongings of those who had to leave Turkey and lost their lives on the way after 15 July are exhibited, İbrahim’s favorite black slippers and the blue socks that his father saw at the last moment and put in his pocket, and the 4-month-old Mahir’s feeding bottle, which his mother said “he died without getting old”, are exhibited as bitter memories of these difficult days.

After the boat capsizes, they hold on to each other until morning, praying, thinking that they will die at any moment, and waiting for hope. When their feet started to get cold and they fell asleep, “Are we dying right now?” they ask each other. They wake up in the morning drifting in the water. “There we saw that thin line between fate and death,” one of the survivors said while describing that night.

And in the morning they see the boat quite a long way from them. The boat has turned upside down, the survivors atop it and waiting. Just when they thought they were going to die, a wave dragged them back to the boat. Their friends immediately pull them up. But they no longer have two children…There are also deficiencies in each of the families they set out with. The boat is full of sad, exhausted faces… then the Greek Coast Guard rescues them, and then the hospital, police station operations begin. Although they have now started a new life in a European country, their children, for whom they will die, are no longer in the world, and even their graves are thousands of kilometers away.


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