Mevlüde Genç, 79, who lost her two daughters, two granddaughters and a niece in a house set on fire by far-right extremists in 1993 in Solingen, Germany, has been bid farewell on the street where the attack took place.
The funeral prayer for Genç was performed in front of the monument erected in place of her house.
Genç’s funeral was attended by Turkish Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee President Akif Çağatay Kılıç, Minister-President of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Türkiye’s Ambassador to Berlin Ahmet Başar Şen and Solingen Mayor Tim Kurzbach.
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier sent his condolences to her husband Durmuş Genç, while German Chancellor Olaf Scholz pointed out that “Mevlüde Genç always puts her weight on the side of peace and love despite her suffering.”
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan also called the Genç family to express his condolences. “Despite the great pain she has experienced, the dignified and resolute stance of Ms. Mevlüde will continue to set an example for Europe and all humanity,” he said in a Twitter post.
Genç’s body was brought to Türkiye after the ceremony held in front of her house. She will be buried in the village of Mercimek in the northern province of Amasya’s Taşova district.
On the night of May 28–29, 1993, four young German men aged 16-23 with neo-Nazi ties set fire to the house of a large Turkish family in Solingen.
Three girls and two women died; fourteen other family members, including several children, were injured, some of them severely.
Genç, 50 years old at the time and the oldest member of the family, was able to climb out of a window and alert neighbors.
Despite losing her family in an arson attack, Genç, who talked about peace, tolerance and mutual understanding in all her statements, was known as the “Bilge Ana” (Wise Mother) among the Turkish community in Germany.
In October 1995, the perpetrators were convicted of arson and murder and given prison sentences of between 10 and 15 years.
Genç was awarded the Federal Order of Merit in 1995 by the then German President Roman Herzog.
Hurriyet Daily News