Türkiye remembers young teacher killed by PKK terrorists on anniversary of death


Six years after her heinous killing by the PKK terror group, Türkiye on Friday remembered Music teacher Senay Aybuke Yalcin on the anniversary of her death.

Yalcin, 22, succumbed to her wounds after a brazen attack targeting the car of the Kozluk region mayor in the southeastern Batman province on June 9, 2017. She was traveling in a minibus that was part of the convoy.

The perpetrator of the attack was neutralized in March 2018 by Turkish security forces.

In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Türkiye, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Türkiye, the US, and EU – has been responsible for the deaths of more than 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan remembered Yalcin.

“I remember with mercy our teacher Senay Aybuke Yalcin, who had no purpose other than serving our nation, on the anniversary when she was martyred heinously,” Erdogan said on Twitter.

He affirmed Türkiye’s determination to fight against the PKK terror group, “which separated our beloved Aybuke from her family, loved ones, and students.”

Vice President Cevdet Yilmaz, Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya and Communications Directorate head Fahrettin Altun shared messages to honor Yalcin.

Teacher’s memory kept alive

The memory of Yalcin lives on through various initiatives such as schools, libraries, art workshops, parks, and streets named after her, along with commemorative events.

The name of the young teacher was given to the high school, which she graduated from, the street where the terror attack took place, and the orchestra hall of Necmettin Erbakan University in Konya, central Türkiye, where she graduated.

Additionally, Batman University dedicated a class in her name, where she had begun her master’s degree. Last year, a public library was opened by Kecioren Municipality in the capital Ankara bearing her name.

Furthermore, a table tennis tournament was held in 2017 and a Turkish folk music solo voice competition in 2018 to honor her memory.

Yalcin, whose life was tragically cut short while aspiring to become an academic, is remembered and honored at her grave, the site of the attack, and the school where she taught, on June 9 and on Teachers’ Day every year.

Nazmi Altuner, the director of Senay Aybuke Yalcin Science High School, who had the privilege of working with Yalcin, spoke fondly of her profound impact on the school, colleagues, and students.

There was no music class at the school until she came, Altuner said, adding: “She established a music class with her own means. She brought a few instruments of her own to the school. She was trying to make the music lesson practical.”

Rabia Arici, one of the students who learned to play an instrument in the music class at the school, expressed her gratitude for the opportunity to study at the school where Yalcin had worked.

She said it was very meaningful for her to receive education in the music workshop Yalcin founded. “I wish she could have taught us music in this class, we would be very happy.”

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