Skip to comments.While fighting deceased Kurds, how can Turkey make peace with its “living” Kurds?
Posted on 03/20/2018 5:37:19 PM PDT by Texas Fossil
My son was killed on 5th of May 2017 in a clash with the Turkish army. I learned of his death from the news. On a social media site called kanlıkule, the photos of my sons disintegrated body were shared. In the photos, a special operations soldier stood with his foot on top of my sons body. My wife and I
went to Hakkari to meet with the army commander to request my sons body 20 days later. The commander said
that they threw his body into the river. I said commander, I want my sons body. If you cant go to the
area, I can go and retrieve his body and the bodies of others. He said Dogs and cats are eating the bodies of those killed last week. I said commander, there have been wars throughout history. After battles, even the worst enemies allow the others to collect their dead. What you are doing now goes against all laws and humanity. I beg you commander dont torture us, give us our sons body. Give us a grave, a stone that we can visit and cry at.
These are the words of a father whose son, a member of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), was killed in the Çukurca district of Hakkari province, close to the borders of Iran and Iraq. I met him three months ago at the Human Rights Association in Diyarbakır. He is not alone.
More than 50 families have applied to the Human Rights Association. They all have loved ones whose bodies remain unburied. Raci Bilici, head of the Human Rights Association in Diyarbakır said, the numbers are much higher, but unfortunately many families are afraid to apply to us and it is impossible for us to go to those rural areas and search for the bodies.
After our meeting, I wrote a letter to the President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım. I included all of the details of the family, pictures of the disintegrated body, the names of the social media accounts that shared these kinds of pictures (these accounts were taken down after I sent my letter). I demanded help for this family and others. I also gave the name of the commander in my letter and gave information about the other families whose loved ones bodies were unburied and eaten by animals. I asked them to stop these inhumane and barbaric actions. I also sent my letter and other documents to their advisors. No one responded. No one!
This is not the only case. Last August, Aycan İrmez, a member of parliament for the pro-Kurdish Peoples Democratic Party (HDP), asked parliament about the body of a woman PKK member that was left near the village of Güneyçam in Şırnak province. Soldiers and village guards militia would not allow villagers to bury the body. It was left on the ground and eaten by animals. The villagers wanted to bury the body so their children would not see it while walking to school every day.
The dead bodies of PKK members brought to hospitals are another problem. There are just a few imams in the region who can wash and perform the religious ceremonies for these bodies. I have interviewed these imams and written about the situation a number of times. One imam told me that at the beginning he was sick when he saw these bodies. No head, the eyes were removed, ears and genitals cut off and there was evidence of torture. But then he said, I understood what humans are capable of doing to each other.
Not only the dead bodies, but the bodies of those put to rest in PKK cemeteries have been affected by this brutality. In the last two years, PKK cemeteries have been bombed or destroyed. Sometimes Turkish authorities open the graves of the PKK members and remove the corpses. Just three months ago, 267 corpses were exhumed and removed from the Garzan Cemetery in Bitlis. The families applied to the Human Rights Association and the Human Rights Association prepared a detailed report about the Garzan cemetery.
Lezgin Bingöl, a father of one of the PKK member whose corpse was exhumed, told Kurdish news agency ANF:
I went to the cemetery on December 20. There I saw that my daughters grave was not there. The grave had been demolished and my daughters bones had been exhumed and taken away. There is nothing left of the graves in the cemetery. When I looked around, I saw that all the other graves were in the same situation. I appealed to the Bitlis Chief Public Prosecutors Office on December 21, 2017. I wanted to learn about the aftermath of my daughters corpse and filed a criminal complaint against those responsible. We had already buried my daughter after receiving a burial and transfer permit from the Forensic Medicine Institute. An investigation was launched against me and my wife in connection with the burial afterwards.
These practices are against both Turkish and international laws. According to Turkish law, cemeteries cannot be destroyed or defiled. According to Article 5237 (Chapter 8) of the Turkish Criminal Code, to exhume corpses is punishable by between three months and two years in prison; to damage the graveyards is punishable by between one and four years prison.
These practices are also against the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the European Human Rights Convention (Article 3), and the Geneva Conventions, which have all been signed by Turkey. One of the main pillars of humanitarian law is the Geneva Conventions, Article 3 (the common article in four conventions) defines the boundaries of conflicting parties in armed conflicts and strictly prohibits mutilation, cruel treatment, torture and murder of all kinds.
In the 21st century, we are still talking about the right to a dignified burial. A right that is shared in all beliefs and religions. A right that is protected by all constitutions and laws. A right that is about being humane, being part of humanity. Today in Turkey, we are struggling for this right. While writing, my heart breaks deeply thinking of the dead bodies in our rural areas that are being eaten by animals.
Turkey is not only fighting against its living Kurds, but also with those who have died!
While fighting deceased Kurds, how can Turkey make peace with its living Kurds?
Throughout this I've come to like and respect Syrian Kurds deeply. The number killed fighting for freedom from oppression is large.
This is one of the most moving statements about their treatment that I have read.
It reminds me of what was done to the Armenians in this region in 1915.
Please read this. This should not be how mankind acts toward another human being.
I don’t like edrogan and the Turks. I don’t shed tears for dead communists.
Those “Turkeys” are not our friends!
Might be a bit more accurate to say Kurdistan Communist Party. Marxist-Leninist.
Islamic Communists against Islamic militants.
I think I'll sit that one out.
I don’t like Communists. I don’t like any kind of totalitarians. none of them.
I have grown to like and respect Syrian Kurds.
I’ve some knowledge of the PKK. It is a mixed thing on that.
There is not a single one that is Islamist.
There are some Muslims. There are many atheists among PKK. There are some Christians. There are some Lefties. I’ve seen some of them flash Che’ banners, I hate it.
I am close to some YPG/JPJ in Syria. They are totally secular. There are a broad sector of religions among them.
They are kind people. They are good neighbors. I’ve seen what they do to protect others from ISIS. That is enough for me.
Somehow this event from U.S. history feels connected.
Initially assigned to manual labor details, the 54th did not see real action until a skirmish with Confederate troops at James Island on July 16. Two days later, Shaw and his men were among the units chosen to lead the assault on Battery Wagner, part of the defenses of Charleston. Shaw was killed in the charge, bravely urging his men forward, but the 54th had proven that they were as brave as anyone, black or white.
Confederate General Johnson Hagood refused to return Shaws body to the Union army, and to show contempt for the officer who led black troops, Hagood had Shaws body buried in a common trench with his men. Rather than considering this a dishonor, Shaws father proclaimed We would not have his body removed from where it lies surrounded by his brave and devoted soldiers....We can imagine no holier place than that in which he lies, among his brave and devoted followers, nor wish for him better company what a body-guard he has!
I did break with FR tradition and I read the story before posting:
There are just a few imams in the region who can wash and perform the religious ceremonies for these bodies.
That doesn't meet my definition of secular.
Rule number 1 in the Middle East. There are no good guys.
So you see no difference between someone who buries an officer with his enlisted men, and someone who leaves the dead to be eaten by wild animals? Not only are you a dumbgrunt, you are a damnyankee as well.
Iraq Kurds were 98% Muslim.
PKK is secular, some Muslim, ZERO Islamists, many atheists.
YPG/YPJ in Syria? Totally secular. I can give you more info on that but I’m sure of it.
Well, atheism is the official religion of Communists.
I wonder if someone should point out to them that they are following the teachings of a Jew.
Please capitalize the ‘D’ in Dumbgrunt.
Yes, I am proud of my service, and my MOS, 11B.
Have the scars to prove it.
This is clearly in the domain of war crimes, so the best response is to both develop a list of those individuals involved, then present it to permanent war crimes tribunals to request European and international arrest warrants.
The Bosnian war resulted in many such arrest warrants, and many of them were pursued, and there were even some convictions obtained.
Once this information has been filed, then just a public relations struggle needs to be conducted to force the tribunals to act, or lose all credibility in the future.
If nothing else, if a single responsible individual is sanctioned, it opens the door to many other such things. It means they cannot travel outside of Turkey or face arrest. It also means that any bank accounts or investments outside of Turkey can be seized. It also means that their faces will adorn wanted posters as war criminals, first in the rest of Europe, and then in Turkey itself.
With enough pressure, the government of Turkey will at first resist, but eventually will give up such war criminals for prosecution. It will put a damper on such activities by their military in the future.
...Rule number 1 in the Middle East. There are no good guys.
You may not know it but you are showing your gross ignorance. But thats nothing new.
No, I do not believe in generational or collective guilt. I tend to like the Kurds as a general rule.
Still, it is ironic.
You are correct, but Kurds long ago admitted their involvement in that. Some actually tried to help the Armenians, Greeks and Alevi’s escape. If caught they were given the same treatment as the Armenians.
I’d have to look for it, but there is a timeline showing when the events took place (were many) and when the guilty admitted doing it. Turkey has NEVER admitted a single case.
This is exactly what we are seeing in Afrin, Syria now.
Our military are very very close to the Syrian Kurds in YPG/YPJ and the SDF. The trust factor is extremely high.
I know some history of the PKK. They are pretty widespread, even in Europe.
bmk for FYI