I have seen Ivriz Village Institute 60 years after that I graduated in 1947. It has been more than 60 years and it has changed a lot since then.
While we were visiting with my schoolmates Mehmet Karaman and Hasan Can, we deeply felt sad.
When the Village Institutes newly established, we as the village children, first set up our tents in an area North of the Taurus Mountains, then we built the buildings we needed by carrying the stones we broke out of quarries, burning lime at night…
Classes, dormitories, teachers’ lodgings, sports halls and many more buildings were built with enthusiasm with our labour as village children.
Not only buildings; We plotted 2.500 acres of land, planted thousand of trees, gardened, plowed fields, planted crops…We produced our own wheat, fruit and vegetables.
We had sheep, cows and mules in barns, we used to have eggs from our chickens, honey from our hives for our breakfast tables.
The test of cherries, apricots, apples and tomatoes from the gardens were amazing…
At the foot of Taurus Mountains, students were singing Agriculture Anthem while they were going to fields to work.
“Sürer, eker, biçeriz güvenip ötesine.
Milletin her kazancı, milletin kesesine,
Toplandık baş çiftçinin Atatürk’ün sesine,
Toprakla savaş için ziraat cephesine.
Biz ulusal varlığın temeliyiz, köküyüz,
Unfortunately when we tried to sing the Agriculture Anthem again with couple of my friends that you can see their photos, wasn’t resounding from the Taurus Mountains any more…Sounds were the same sounds, people were the same people. Although we were in 80’s, we had the same soul, same enthusiam…
However those enthusiastic voices hasn’t resounded again. Because the village institute system was destroyed by fanatic thoughts, those enthusiastic voices of villagers were silenced and the great power of the production was stopped.
Unfortunately, even today the world speaks about village institutes with phrase because it isn’t possible to replace the educational theories of them. Sadly, all the labour has been wasted, the trees that were planted dried, the buildings that were built you can see in the pictures became abandoned ruin.
When we were building İvriz Village Institute, I have never felt the pain of the weight of stones that I still have scars on my back. However when I see the present condition of that legendary institution, could not only feel pain in my heart but also couldn’t stop the tears in my eyes.
What a waste it was for our country, what a waste it was for the Turkish Peasants…
30th April 2009