It has been 28 years since the martyrdom of Ahmet Arık, who gained the title of "Martyr" while he was still alive, with his love for the Islamic cause and his exemplary life resembling a martyr.

Ahmet Arık, who was a self-educated person with deep knowledge of Islamic matters, was shot dead by the enemy of Islam on November 22, 1993, in Turkey's southeastern Diyarbakır province.

Zeynel Abidin Gülsever, one of Ahmet Arık’s comrades, spoke to Ilke News Agency regarding his life and personality.

“He was a hard-working person that disseminated Islamic thoughts in nook and cranny of Bağlar district”

“In 1988, Martyr Ahmet stayed in Bağlar. It was the time following the 1980 military coup and people started to come forward with Islamic thoughts. We were also young people at that time,” Gülsever said.

Gülsever noted that Martyr Ahmet’s family was a religious one, saying that “his father was a pious man who was trying to protect his children against infidel movements and thoughts.”

“Although Ahmet did not attain any schools, he educated himself in Islamic knowledge. I joined the ranks of Islamic jamaah before him but he outdid me in Islamic knowledge and activities,” Gülsever remembered.

“At that time, when people were in a quick search to join the Islamic movements, Ahmet started to teach children in the mosque and he expanded the classes by sending the students he trained to other mosques. He was a hardworking person who was able to disseminate Islamic ideas to the farthest corners of Baglar. In the 90s when there were a lot of anti-Islamist groups, including left fractions, racist groups, and the gangs of Turkish deep state, martyr Ahmet inspired us with courage. We felt safe with him because of his courage.”

“Ahmet was fond of worshipping, especially performing the prayers,” Gulsever recalled. “He was like Imam Zayn al-Abidin in his prayers. Sometimes he used to fall prostrate for half an hour while performing prayers. When we went to mosques, we used to perform compulsory prayers (fard salah) and go out of the mosque. But Ahmet used to perform all sunnah prayers and supplications as well after the compulsory prayers.”

“Thanks to Ahmet’s efforts at least 100 young people joined Islamic jamaah”

Touching upon Ahmet’s love for reading, Gülsever said: “Although he did not attend any school, he was no different from an Islamic scholar or an academician with his knowledge. He tried to develop a love for reading in all his friends. I can say that thanks to Ahmet’s efforts at least 100 young people joined Islamic jamaah.”

“He had read all Islamic sources about martyrdom at that time”

One of the martyr's friends, Fırat Nart, who said that it is very difficult to describe both his martyrdom and Ahmet, reminded that the Martyr was a person who was able to receive the title "Martyr" while he was alive, and drew attention to the emphasis in the melody composed about him that says "You, Martyr, Martyr Ahmet".

Nart said: “He was working in the greengrocer shop on the corner of the Bedir Mosque. He met the Islamic cause in 1988 through our esteemed elder brothers’ efforts. Although he dropped out of primary school, he was thought to be a university graduate when he spoke. In fact, while the martyr was having a conversation in a place where university students were, one of the young people there asked ‘Which faculty is this friend studying’ and he couldn't believe it when he learned that he had dropped out of primary school.”

Expressing the martyr's fondness for Islamic knowledge, Nart said: “While we were spending time laughing and having fun, he was reading a book. I can say that he had read all the Islamic sources about martyrdom at that time. Because of his love for martyrdom, we started to call him 'Martyr Ahmet'. His news of Martyrdom had a great impact on us.”

“He had the ability to lead young people”

Nart went on to say: “Martyr Ahmet Arık was one of the most important figures of mosque activities at that time.  The name of the mosque at that time was known as the 'Martyr Ahmet Mosque' because of the Islamic activities he started in the Sümer Mosque, now known as the İstasyon Mosque. Many people joined Islamic jamaah thanks to his efforts because he had the ability to direct people and influence young people.”

Nart pointed out that Martyr Ahmet is a very intelligent person with his investigative aspect. While he was in the military, he taught Islam in the mosque, worked as an imam, and even had the opportunity to read and finish the Fizilal-il Qur'an set.

“He knew who would make him a martyr”

Talking about Martyr Ahmet’s personality, Nart said, “He was a very generous person. I will never forget, a friend of mine gave Ahmet a second-hand washing machine. Although he is married and has children, he brought the machine to me instead of taking it home. It would be insufficient to describe it in words. When he prayed, it was as if he had left the world.  Anyone looking at him from the outside would have noticed that he wasn’t there.”

Drawing attention to the situation in the region during the martyrdom, Nart said: “As a matter of fact, he himself knew who he had offended and put in a difficult situation.  He was martyred by dark forces on November 22, 1993.  His death made us very sad.  It was such a period at that time that although we were intimate friends, I was able to visit his grave 9 days after his martyrdom. We could not go to him at the time of martyrdom, kiss his forehead, and visit his grave.” (ILKHA)

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