In the Annihilation Period, many families had to disperse to different countries around the world. The mother had to stay in a separate place, the father in another separate place, and the children in another… Some have managed to unite, some are still trying to unite, but some could not unite again.
Ebubekir Altay loved his profession so much that he would teach in one of the most difficult geographies in the world. However, the Annihilation Period, which began on July 15, had reached to the school in Afghanistan where he was working. His school was shut down, and for security reasons Ebubekir Altay had to leave the country with his family.
Ebubekir Altay had emigrated to Argentina with his wife. He was working for 8-10 hours a day in different jobs to earn living of his family. April 25, 2019 he had an accident on his way to deliver two ice cream orders. Although he had a helmet on his head during the accident, he was in critical condition when he was taken to hospital.
During his short stay in Argentina, he had made good friends. Dozens of people from different religions and different circles came to visit at the hospital. Everyone prayed for him in his own language, with his own faith. A week after the accident, on Thursday morning (May 3) in the hospital in Buenos Aires, he died at the age of 34.
Zeynep Altay, wife of Ebubekir Altay, tells in the following days that in the most difficult days she was never alone, even for a minute: “Very interesting things happened in the time frame of accident and death of my husband. The hospital was full of people, now our home is…There are so beautiful people in the world. People from different churches, Catholics, and Jews visited. Argentinian local people visited. They prayed with us and like us uninterrupted 24 hours a day. They asked; what do you need? While in hospital and passing away, my husband brought people together who would not normally come together. People from all over the world… I don’t know any of them”.
Altay always wanted to stay as a teacher throughout his life. But he could not pursue his profession in Argentina due to the problem of diploma equivalence. Zeynep Altay, who is also a teacher, tells that his husband had looked for a job for a long time; he had worked in markets, döner shops and washed dishes.
The challenges faced by the young couple were not limited to this. Altay family had left their 5.5-year-old daughter in Turkey for treatment, and were deeply missing her. The teacher couple had gone to Afghanistan in 2011, a year later their daughter Ayşegül was born. In 2013, they had to take their sick daughter to Turkey for treatment. However, things had become more troublesome even before official declaration of state of emergency. On March 18, 2016, they left Turkey but leaving Ayşegül behind. The couple returned to their work in Afghanistan. They also had to leave Afghanistan after the shutdown of the Turkish school. Altay couple started searching for a country that they could go with their Turkish passports and without a visa, and decided to go to Argentina.
The family had taken refuge in Argentina in June 2017, but their daughter was still in Turkey. With fear of getting arrested they could not go to Turkey, nor could they bring their daughter.
About Ebubekir, who on the one hand was missing the sick daughter, on the other hand had struggled for livelihood in a new country, his wife has told follows: “He was not just a husband, but also a comrade. A friend. We always held up and supported each other while away from our daughter. He was very compassionate. He would never hurt me. I have consented him totally and forever. He was devoted and hardworking as well…”