Cengiz Songur did not notice the letter until he was onboard the ship to Gaza. The letter starts with these words: “I have thousands of words to tell you, but they are now all stuck in my throat. I am scared, dad. I get scared as I see the sadness in my sisters’ eyes and the worried look on my mom’s face. Dad, please do not get scared. Please, go there, dad. Go there to put a smile on an orphan’s face, go there to receive good wishes from a mother. Go there even if you won’t be able to return. It is wonderful to be your daughter, I am so proud of you dad.”
Onboard Mavi Marmara, the 47-year-old dad of 7 children, showed the letter with joy and pride to his fellow passengers. On the 31st of May, 2010 he lost his life during Mavi Marmara raid. He was carrying this letter in his pocket when the Israeli navy attacked.
Following Cengiz Ozgur’s martyring by the Israeli soldiers, his daughters penned another farewell letter to express their feelings:
“Israel, you should be afraid. You should be frightened as hell. This time ababil* birds are on their way swimming through the sea. This time, ababil birds are not carrying stones in their beaks, but marble beads in their hands. Be afraid, Israel. My Lord, who sent those ababil birds to destroy huge elephants with small stones in their beaks, now sending ababils with marble beads to stop your ruthless actions. Israel, be afraid. Those believers are coming after you.
Dad, where are you now? What are you up to? Please do not mind my tears. I know, I am crying childishly. I am standing strong, dad. Watching you. I sometimes show your pictures to my daughter, she still thinks you are gone for fishing. When she sees the pictures, she asks about the Israeli soldiers, she thinks they are there for fishing as well, mistaking their big guns for fishing rods. I can’t tell her that ‘they are murderers’. You always taught me to be compassionate. You taught me to have mercy, to feel for others and to love others. I could only tell her that ‘they are some guys who do not want your grandpa to fish’. You will catch no fish but freedom out of the sea, dad. Freedom will hold the hands of those children in Palestine. Freedom will the best condiment you ever served to them. I am now sure that you are free, dad. We are free. Gaza is free!”
Cengiz Songur is one those 9 people martyred on the humanitarian aid ships bound for Gaza. May God bless him and may he rest in peace.
*Ababil birds are a race of enormous birds described in the Holy Quran as being sent by Allah to drop red clay bricks on the army of elephants sent by the king of Yemen to attack the city of Mecca before the prophet Mohammed was born.