“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 one could see the 2.5 high pedestal of the monument of Nuri Adal. The bust was still being wrapped for the upcoming unveiling.
At 10 o’clock we are at the monument. We are in the group – the leader of the list of Democratic Bulgaria in …Kardzhali regional district Radoslav Milev, his runner-up Mustafa Emin and Elena Shtukerska, also from the coalition list. The rest of us are here as people’s representatives….. Here are also Velizar Shalamenov, Rosen Ivanov, Stefi Nedevska and Vladi Juvinov, coalition activists in Sofia and Plovdiv. I am also here writing these lines.
Even though I am connected to this region, I admit that back in 1989 I had not heard of Nuri Adal, as the authorities kept the names of human rights defenders of Turkish origin a secret.
Shortly after 10 o’clock, many people from the city, 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 park, the beautiful and orderly city park, has been named after him.
Our presence is 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, the ex-minister of defense in one of the previous official governments and a representative in two parliaments, Velizar Shalamanov, is mentioned personally as a guest.
We are surprised by the fact 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 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 freedom and democracy fighter has been fulfilled.
However, we have another, longer-term goal. One day, let’s pay our dues together, both to Nelson Mandela Nushti Adal, from Momchilgrad, and to Bai Iliya Minev, who was born in September, known by the same nickname and who was in communist prisons for more than two decades. The examples in the recent past are not bad — Nuri Adal and the famous Bulgarian political prisoner Blagoi Topuuzliev 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 Ibryam Kuruju, the leader of the resistance against such a face-lifted 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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