“shed no tears as I pass from this world,
lay my mortal remains in the ground with joy, they did not see the light of day… Maybe my grave will be in an unknown place,
and the heart dreams of a mound under the shade of a tree…”
Today, early in the morning in the city park of Momchilgrad, the 2.5 meter high pedestal of the monument to Nuri Adal could be seen. The bust was still being wrapped for the upcoming unveiling.
At 10 o’clock we are at the monument. In the group we are the leader of the list of Democratic Bulgaria in the Ninth Kardzhali electoral district Radoslav Milev, his runner-up Mustafa Emin and Elena Shukerska, also from the list of the coalition. Here are also Velizar Shalamanov, Rosen Ivanov, Stefi Nedevska and Vladi Juvinov, coalition activists in Sofia and Plovdiv. I am also here writing these lines.
Although I am connected to this region, I admit that back in 1989 I had not heard of Nuri Adal because the authorities kept the names of human rights defenders of Turkish origin a deep secret.
A little after 10 o’clock, many people from the city have gathered near the monument in the park, as well as the guests – the mayors of the municipalities of Kardzhali and Momchilgrad, councilors, ex-people’s representatives, representatives of the Muslim clergy, political prisoners from the time of the communist regime and relatives of the Bulgarian Nelson Mandela, as Nuri Turgut Adal is called here, spent 23 years in prisons, including the notorious Belene.
During the ceremony, unobtrusive and somewhat sad music, written by a local composer and entitled “Love”, sounds. Rosen Ivanov, who is clearly a connoisseur, defines it as ethnojazz. Since 2015, the beautiful and orderly city park bears his name.
Our presence has been noticed by the locals. Probably for the first time, their fellow citizens of Bulgarian origin are present at such a celebration. Even at the opening, they personally mentioned as a guest the ex-Minister of Defense in one of the previous official governments and a representative in two parliaments, Velizar Shalamanov.
We are surprised that Nuri Adal is a poet and has published a book of poems written in prison. Stefi Nedevska talks to one of his associates, from whom she hopes to receive the collection of poems published in Turkey. The goal is to provide a translation into Bulgarian and a publishing house so that the poetry book will appear in Bulgarian bookstores.
After the end of the official part, Radoslav Milev and Mustafa Emin laid a wreath in front of the monument on behalf of Democratic Bulgaria.
With this, our goal of paying tribute to the work of the fighter for freedom and democracy has been fulfilled.
However, we have another, longer-term goal. One day, let’s pay our dues together, both to Momchilgrad’s Nelson Mandela, Nuri Adal, and to Septemvri-born Bai Iliya Minev, known by the same nickname and who was in communist prisons for more than two decades. There are no shortage of examples in the recent past — Nuri Adal and the famous Bulgarian political prisoner Blagoi Topuzliev were very close friends in prison.
Later, our group significantly increased its composition. The leaders of Democratic Bulgaria lists, Bozhidar Bojanov and Atanas Slavov, are already here.
To my surprise, I also meet Ibrahim Kuruju, the leader of the resistance against the so-called “Revival Process” in Kazanlakshko. I don’t ask him about his father Ramadan Kuruju, also a famous political prisoner.
I don’t ask him because on September 6th he congratulated me on Facebook for the holiday. And that’s how I found out he was alive and well in not-so-distant Istanbul.
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