Five villagers killed in North Kurdistan
Turkey should not lose the chance for peace!
Five villagers, Huseyin Ozmen (55), Haci Kaya (55), Ahmet Acar (50), his son Erdal Acar (30) and Mahmut Kaya (25) were abducted and killed in Karakoc (Pul) hamlet, in village of Yumakli, the city of Bingol at around 21.00, on 10 July 2003 by unidentified armed persons.
Kurdistan National Congress has today spoken with Husamettin Kaya, brother of Mahmut Kaya, who is currently seeking asylum in Belgium. Husamettin Kaya has given us first hand information, which he received from his mother, in Karakoc hamlet.
According to the information we have received 6 unidentified armed men carrying M16, arrived at the village of Yumakli at around 19.30 on 10 July. The group dressed in guerrilla uniforms first took Mahmut Kaya who was in a field with them. They then went to house to house and read out the names of the victims to go with them. They were reported to have said that the villagers would have to come with them to outside of the village and give statement to their commander on specific issues.
Other people who tried to follow them were all turned back. The bodies of 4 men were found just outside the village with bullet wounds to their head. Mahmut Kaya was found seriously injured and taken to Elazig State Hospital where he later died. He had severe head injuries but no bullet wounds. No medical autopsy was carried on the bodies of the victims.
All victims were on at least three occasions taken into custody for aiding and abetting guerrillas. Huseyin Ozmen was once charged with aiding and abetting a terrorist organization and kept in prison for three months.
Turkish authorities have claimed that this massacre was carried out by KADEK forces. However KADEK earlier denied any responsibility.
There have been recent reports of massive military operations by the Turkish Army against the KADEK guerrillas.
Since the seizure of the armed struggle by the PKK for the last 5 years and the developments in Iraq a pressure was put on Turkey to solve its Kurdish Question. Turkey recently introduced a Repentance Law with the aim to `dissolve the terrorist organization`, according to the Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul.
Turkish authorities also seeking reasons to justify presence of its armed forces in Northern Iraq.
We believe Turkey should not miss the chance of peace. The current developments and five year period without a conflict is an opportunity for a lasting peace.
Bingol was recently hit by a huge earthquake. Following the disaster there were street protests by the local people against the governor of the city. These protests were later identified by the government officials, including the Turkish Prime Minister, as provocation of terrorist movements.
On 15 June, 2 KADEK guerrillas were killed in the same village by Turkish armed forces.
Chairperson for Bingol branch of Human Rights Association of Turkey Ridvan Kizgin has received threatening telephone calls on 8 & 9 July from Bingol Gendarmerie Commander following a press conference on 5 July where Mr Kizgin announced the human rights balance sheet of Bingol for January-June 2003. At the press conference Ridvan Kizgin stated the increase in the human rights violations in Bingol area by the state forces. International human rights organizations such as International Human Rights Federation and Worlds Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) called for urgent action on the issue.
We call on public opinion and human rights organizations to raise the issue with Turkish authorities urging them to seek a solution to Kurdish issue and avoid yet renewed long lasting armed conflict. Turkey must build the path leading to European Union and thus ensure full democracy. Those responsible for the killing of villagers from Bingol must be brought to justice. Thus there should be a proper investigation.
We call on all human rights defenders to join a delegation to Bingol and meet with the local people including eye witnesses to the incident. Please join a delegation to the area organized by Diyarbakir branch of the Human Rights Association and please do not hesitate to contact us for further information.
14 July 2003