People related with Hizmet Movement in Turkey are facing severe oppression and living in a situation that could be called social death. This fact forces them to flee from their country and seek a new life somewhere else. These people, whose jobs were taken away, who were excluded from society, constantly monitored and living with fear of being arrested at any moment, find fleeing as the only solution. The story of the Maden Family, one of the families who had decided to flee, is one of the loudest among the screams of asylum seekers ending deep in the seas. But we doubt whether there is anybody left with a conscientious heart to hear these screams.
The life of the Maden family of five had also fallen apart after July 15. Both Hüseyin Maden (40) and Nur Maden (36) were teachers. They were first expelled from their professions. Their assets were confiscated. They feared that the investigations and lawsuits against them would at the end harm their kids and they decided to hide.
Father Hüseyin Maden was trying to earn the living of his family. He worked illicit in construction sites, in a gas station for a thousand lira monthly. After a year of hiding in an unknown address, the Maden family finally decided to run away from the unbearable repression and fear climate. However, fleeing also had a price, and they did not have enough money to pay the smugglers. Hüseyin Maden borrowed some money from a friend and bought a cheap boat from smugglers. He learned from them how to use it and how to reach the Lesvos Island through the Aegean Sea.
While departing, 13-year-old Nadire, 10-year-old Bahar and 7-year-old son Feridun were on the boat with both parents. They sailed off to the Aegean Sea with the hope of waking up to a new life. It is not known how far they had gone with the boat, what they had experienced on sea in that dark night, but in their last message to their families, they had said ‘we have seen the lights’. That boat never reached those lights. After weeks of silence, the fate of the Maden family became clear when three bodies washed ashore on Lesvos Beach.
They do not have dates of arrival and departure. In an unrecorded day and time, overwhelmed by the oppression, they entrusted their life to the cold waters of the Aegean. Their bodies that washed ashore on Lesvos have been recorded on the pages of history as one of the most painful photographs about persecution. They hoped that they could find the humaneness and human dignity lost in their own countries in some foreign country. It was humaneness, not the bodies of the Maden Family, that washed ashore on Lesvos Beach.