Berkin               The photo of Berkin Elvan who is one of the victims of last year’s Gezi protests.

The tall man ordered his men to kill. And they did. They killed many. They also killed a boy. He was 14. child to the world, baby to his mother, joy to his father.

What child? asked the tall man. He was a terrorist. His toys were weapons that could have destroyed my empire.

One man found himself thinking about the boy often, although he hadn’t known him before his death. He said: We shall not forget him. And they held a vigil. And the tall man’s men killed another man at the vigil. The tall man said: I shall not let you remember.

The boy’s mother said: It is the tall man I would go after if I wasn’t so heartbroken, if I had the strength. It is the tall man who killed my boy.

The tall man laughed. She says I killed the boy, he sneered. The applause of his minions temporarily drowned out his fear. The tall man was happy; he grinned and said merrily: They shall not remember.

There was another boy. This one said: But I remember. He told the whole world about it. The tall man’s men said: Don’t let this young one succeed. Cancel his diplomas, throw away his degrees. The tall man smiled and said: I do not want you to remember. I will not let you.

The tall man also found himself thinking about the dead boy, often. He was furious people wanted to remember. He scratched his head and said to his aide — the aide with the slicked back hair: How can we make them forget? Master, this is rather simple. Just punish them every time they remember. It is also good for them! said the aide with the slicked-back hair. The aide had a past he didn’t want to remember. Those were the days when he wasn’t yet the voice of his master. It would be good to think about those things, maybe later?

Another man, a doctor, caught himself thinking about the boy often. But I remember, he said. There were other men and women who remembered. They joined him, they gathered in the streets. They showed the world they still remembered. Sack that doctor, don’t let him work, said a man who worked for the tall man. Our master will not like this, we have to make life difficult for him. The doctor said: Do what you do, I don’t care. I do and always will remember.

The tall man’s heart grew darker with fear. And he felt rage towards this boy who was no longer here. Make them lose their jobs, I want them to starve. Throw them in prison, make sure they rot in jail. They shall not remember the boy who could have brought down my empire with his toys.

There was a woman, who hadn’t known the boy before. She found herself thinking about the boy often. She said she will remember. She said she will not let the tall man forget.

She looked up at the screen where the tall man could always be seen. She said: We remember, and we always will.

This post originally appeared at Today’s Zaman’s blogs section

Author: E Baris Altintas

I am a journalist and a civil society professional. I can be reached at

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