This was a hard day to be a journalist.
When we arrived at the hospital in Ankara, where many of the victims from Saturdays bombing were taken, a nurse sat with a list of names. Names of the injured and recovering, and, of those who would never wake up.
One man approached the nurse to check for news of his father. He was rushed to hospital after getting caught in the blast. Until now his son thought he might be recovering only to learn he had passed away.
“Father, father” he cried, shaking with anguish.
His sister and mother approached and upon hearing the news, they too, broke down.
The man they lost was Sabri Almaz. He had traveled from the far east of Turkey to take part in Saturdays rally. His daughter said all he wanted was for Turkey to once again find peace.
Between her pain-stricken sobs she yells, “My father said peace. He had no gun. He didn’t hurt anyone. They killed him.”
The agony of her father being taken from her, waved through the hospital cafe she and her mother were sitting.
They were scenes that displayed the raw emotion of a cruel and sudden attack on those who were asking for nothing more but solidarity.
An hour later at the city’s main forensic morgue, where Sabri Almaz’s body will be taken, the magnitude of the grief felt by those affected finally struck.
Women gathered in support of their friends and family. One women’s heartache was so overwhelming she collapsed. Another woman I spoke to wanted to share her story with me, but as she spoke she shook uncontrollably. It was clear that her desire to share conflicted with her body's despair.
Men lay on blankets on the ground against a fence, waiting for news of when they could finally take the bodies of their relatives home. Home to where they last saw them off.
One young man lost his father who was a volunteer with the People’s Democratic Party (HDP).
“He loved the party more than he loved his family.”
Shoulders back and chest high, he spoke with pride about his father. But the deep sadness in his eyes gave a glimpse of the small boy who yearned for his father to return.
Author: Sally Ayhan