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Turkey kills Kurdish mother purposely

May 22, 2014

It may seem to be a provocative and inflaming accusation, that the Turkish state kills Kurdish people purposely, but recent events let no room for any other conclusions. Here are the facts and the reader is invited to judge by her/himself.

On the night of May 18, Saadet Dervis, 30, along with her two children and her father Mithat Dervis, attempted to cross the border from northern Syria’s Rojava region, which is controlled by the Kurdish PYD (Democratic Union Party), into Turkey. Her husband had gone to Turkey a few months earlier. Dervis was fleeing an area under the control of ISIL (The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant).

When the four approached the Turkish border near the Derik district that night, they were detected by Turkish soldiers. Dervis and her father waved and shouted that they wanted to cross the border. Their plea was met with fire from a Scorpion armored vehicle and Dervis was hit in the stomach. She died in front of her young children and her father.

For two hours, soldiers did not allow Mithat to carry his daughter’s body across the border to Turkey. Around 11 P.M., Mithat disregarded the threats and dragged her body toward the armored vehicle. Finally, an ambulance was called and Saadet was moved to Cizre Public Hospital. After a postmortem examination, the body was delivered to relatives in Syria under the supervision of Maj. Hikmet Oz, the town gendarmerie commander. She was buried in Derik.

Turkish border patrol

Also on May 18, Ali Ozdemir, a 14 year old boy, was shot in the face, losing both his eyes, while attempting to cross the border from Rojava into Kiziltepe-Senyurt. Ozdemir, who lives in Turkey, had traveled to Dirbesiye two weeks ago to visit his grandmother. This by itself was a dangerous journey, because In the border area, people must often cross minefields and hop wire fences to visit relatives.

On April 16, nine Syrians attempted to cross into Turkey from the town of Suruc. Five were apprehended and four escaped. One returned to Syria and was wounded by fire from Turkish soldiers. Civan Muhammed, a 15 year old boy, who was caught and beaten by soldiers, died at Birecik Public Hospital. The Turkish military command said Muhammed fell during the altercation and died as a result of trauma to his head. But the postmortem said his skull was shattered, and an eyewitness said his cousin was hit with a rifle butt.

Kurds on both sides of the border protest

If we set aside the massacre of 35 Kurdish youth at Roboski in 2011, doling out on-the-spot punishment for border violations is new because until now soldiers would tell Kurdish civilians to halt and would fire their weapons if they tried to escape

The policy of instant shooting to kill Kurdish civilians has truly upset the Kurds on both side of the border, especially in regard to the fact, that armed groups like al-Qaedas Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic Front  are allowed to cross the border freely

About 1,600 Turkish Kurds from the BDP (Peace and Democracy Party) and the DEHAP (Democratic People’s Party) marched from Cizre to protest the killing of Dervis. Kurds from the Syrian side also protested, and demonstrations were held on both sides of the border fence. Turkish parliamentarian Faysal Sariyildiz and Cizre Mayor Leyla Imret were among the demonstrators. The crowd approached the wire fence and was challenged by water cannons of the gendarmerie. Faysal Sariyildiz asked Cizre gendarmerie commander Maj. Oz: “Why don’t you intervene? Why didn’t you take the shot person to the hospital while her father was shrieking for help?” Only to get the answer: “We are brothers.”

The DEHAP, which questions the firing on civilians while al-Qaeda-affiliated organizations openly cross the border, is demanding an investigation of those responsible. Hasan Ipek, the governor of Sirnak, responded to the protests: “It is a very sad event. There was a misunderstanding there. We don’t yet know exactly what happened. The military prosecutor is investigating. I wish it hadn’t happened.”

Yet Tahir Elci, chairman of the Diyarbakir Bar Association, told the Turkish daily Evrensel that illegal border crossings should be punished by execution. Raci Bilici, chief of Diyarbakir’s Human Rights Association, reported that the soldiers on the border were ordered to shoot and kill as part of the government’s Rojava policy.

Deterring the Kurds

Syrian journalist Bazran describes the effects of the closed-border policy on the area of Kobani: “Turkey’s border policy in the Kurdish region has changed recently. Entry to Syria is allowed through two crossings [Senyurt/Dirbesiye and Kobani/Mursitpinar], but only casualties are allowed to cross into Turkey. There is now targeted fire on illegal crossings, which appears to be a policy of deterrence. They definitely don’t want the Kurds to cross to Turkey. But in earlier discussions of PYD representatives, there was an accord to open the border to commercial crossings.”

The canton of Kobani is surrounded by ISIL. There is no electricity, no water. People drink water from contaminated wells and are threatened by cholera. Turkey is the only place where people can meet their needs. Think, we don’t even have chickens. For Turkey to close the border means, ‘Go surrender to ISIL.’ In the border segments under control of Islamist organizations, everything is allowed to cross. Factories looted in Aleppo are carried across in trucks, and nobody says anything.”

Saadet Dervis, Ali Ozdemir and Civan Muhammed are the most well-known victims of Turkey’s policy of punishing Rojava. Dervis walked to the border and returned in a coffin. The state did not repatriate her body through an official crossing, but handed it over the border fence she was trying to cross.

The Kurdish people will not forget, that islamic militants and their ware, both guns and booty, can cross the border freely, while a Kurdish woman from Rojava with her two children can’t and is killed without warning.

syrian refugees in turkey

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