Guray and 66. Sonnet*

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Guray and 66. Sonnet*

By M. Nedim Hazar


We, human beings, understand we are alive even if just a bit through our social environment and friends.  We can feel the rhythm of life by these parameters.

We get used to hearing different sentence patterns in accordance with the age we live in.

When they say “Have you heard who got married?”, we perceive that as a sign for the fact that not only our friends but also we have reached the age of marriage.

Ahmet has started to work…

Hasan has been a father…

Cemil has been promoted to manager.

Rüstem has fallen ill.

Kadir has died, sorry for our loss…

To be honest, I can understand how people at a certain age lose their relatives one by one

cause I’m at that age.

On the other hand, we live in an age called the age of tyrants…

Death, illness, prison and etc. are no more related to how old you are at this age.

Therefore, I have been hearing these sentences in recent years for almost every friend of mine: “at prison, at cell” or “at hospital, has had an operation” or “unfortunately we have lost him/her”.

Age, opportunity, job and faults are not important for each individual of the age of tyrants. The choices and decisions of the tyrants determine the ongoing of this age.

William Shakespeare seems like describing this age in his famous and magnificent 66. Sonnet;

“Tired with all these, for restful death I cry,

As to behold desert a beggar born,

And needy nothing trimm’d in jollity,

And purest faith unhappily forsworn,

And gilded honour shamefully misplaced,

And maiden virtue rudely strumpeted,

And right perfection wrongfully disgraced,

And strength by limping sway disabled

And art made tongue-tied by authority,

And folly, doctor-like, controlling skill,

And simple truth miscalled simplicity,

And captive good attending captain ill:

Tired with all these, from these would I be gone,

Save that, to die, I leave my love alone.

Güray Demir and myself started to work nearly at the same time.

Maybe in 1990 or a few years later, not sure.

We were both reporters when the circulation of the newspaper was around thirty or fourty thousand.

Izmir was an important location for Zaman. Many journalists had come from there.

Pride goes before fall, some of them turned out to be false journalists.

Guray was very different. He was like belonging to another era. I always thought he would be found similar with Tabi’al Tabi’in.

Huge buildings have essential features: their durability, their art, their aesthetics.

People usually focus on the front view of these buildings.

The front is fairly important. However, the chief pillars and columns which keep it up or the mixture which keep it together for centuries don’t catch anyone’s attention.

Güray Demir was the most modest person who always kept himself from the front but also one of the main features which construct the building. 

I remember we performed ablution with Hasan Sutay who was another one like belonging to another era. He was so careful about using the tissue that he could dry all his body with a piece of it with no sign of dryness.

Guray was such a good mumin that he could get past him. He would say “let’s dry and reuse it”.

I don’t remember his face ever fell or he avoided work. 

I didn’t witness him hurt any living thing.

I can swear that no one witnessed him lying, even a word.

However, the tyrants of this age made him fall ill in deep sorrow. 

My only hope and solace is to believe that he died a martyr to all troubles he had to face in the age of these desperate devils. 

I know that Guray kept his smile even while he was suffering from a deadly illness.

I feel a deep sadness in my heart as I couldn’t carry out my last duty for him, bear his coffin or say “we witness” when asked .

And human dignity was trampled upon.

Morality and bravery have been sacrificed on the altar of fear; truthfulness has been tarnished; madness has occupied the order; the cowards are in charge in the age of tyrants.

However, as a lucky person who worked together with one of the best people in this world for years, I bear witness that we sent Guray Demir, who had a brilliant heart, to God and stand up for him.

May God have mercy on him.

* The original of this obituary was published at on 3 July 2019 with the Turkish title “Güray ve 66. Sonat”. Guray Demir passed away on 30 June 2019. The original of the article is at: