Posted by: hevallo | March 16, 2011

>Mass Graves of Kurdish People in Turkey!

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The Ghastly Truth Needs to be Told!
By Hevallo

In 1993, Hevallo interviewed a young Kurdish woman journalist about an hour after she had been driven to a quiet spot outside Diyarbakir, with a hood still on her head and had a gun placed underneath her chin she was told this was the moment she was going to die.

The man cocked the gun, then silence.
The man was a Turkish policeman and the woman a Kurdish journalist for the newspaper Ozgur Gundem. The next noise that the woman heard was the car door close and the white renault drove away.

The only reason that the gun was not fired was that an international human rights delegation was publicly announcing that they would not leave Turkey unless the woman was freed.
She was lucky.
But others, many thousands of others were not. Driven to quiet spots and shot in the head, their lifeless bodies dumped in isolated spots chosen to dispose of the evidence.

It was systematic and brutal, sometimes in the street in broad daylight, men dressed in civilian clothes would carry out cold blooded extrajudicial killings by approaching someone and shooting them there and then. One, two bullets to the head.
When on a delegation to the emergency region of Turkey in 1993, I witnessed one man’s body that had laid outside the Diyarbakir post office during the night after being shot in the head. We constantly heard gunfire that kept us awake.
When we stayed in the hotel in Batman for one night. We heard periodic shooting of one, two, three shots every hour or so.
In the morning it was reported that 11 people had been extrajudicially assassinated by ‘person’s unknown’ during the night. I heard those shots of those people being killed.
We visited a large town of over 30,000 called Lice that had been razed to the ground. Hundreds killed as they ran for cover from the Turkish army that set upon that small Kurdish town on 22nd Oct 1993. I stood in a room in the council building that ten people had been burnt alive in.
Another small Kurdish village, Birik, we visited that was burning when we arrived having been torched by the Turkish army and all men taken away for torture, 3 of them dying under torture. 3 random people stood against a wall and executed after having been dragged from their homes and urinated on by the soliders.
These are just some of my own personal eye witness stories and collected testimony, that have haunted me for years.
Over 4 thousand Kurdish towns, villages and hamlets burnt, pillaged and masses of people murdered. And these are the innocents. Thousands more were Kurdish political activists, journalists and people who campaigned for nothing more than Kurdish cultural rights.

Musa Anter, a legend among the Kurdish people, (above) an elderly grey haired gentleman of stories and oral history of the Kurds driven to a quiet spot in Diyarbakir, in a white renault by Turkish police taken out of the car and a gun placed on his head and shot.
Vedat Aydin a Kurdish politician, approached by policemen and taken into custody. Later his body is found at the side of the road his head smashed in and 8 bullets in his body.
I personally knew one man who I came to know very well in London who went to volunteer for the PKK, in the fight against this barbaric policy of the Turkish State.
His name was Ayhan.
Ayhan lived with me for about 6 months and we shared breakfast every morning, he loved Kurdish flat bread with goats cheese melted on top and would lovingly prepare this every morning for us both. He was a joker too and loved poetry.
We played chess most nights and chatted about all aspects of life and culture.
I really warmed to Ayhan and admired his dedication to his people and cause.
Ayhan was ripped to pieces by Turkish army dogs that were set upon him when he was taken prisoner by the Turkish Army years later.
Other PKK guerrillas have met equally horrific deaths that are illegal under international law.
I interviewed a man in Izmir whose son was a Kurdish guerilla and he had medical certificates that proved his son’s body died as a result of the chemical burns on his body. These stories are common place among families of the Kurdish Freedom Fighters.
Turkish soldiers would collect the ears of Kurdish guerillas on key rings as trophys.

It has been documented by many human rights groups that Turkish soldiers have raped Kurdish women guerrillas, both before they’ve killed them and after.
The famous pictures of Turkish soldiers holding up the decapitated heads of Kurdish guerrillas as trophys are only a small part of the depravity that has been shown towards the Kurds in was is termed by the Kurds as a ‘Dirty War!”
These are but just a snapshot of the whole ghastly picture!
On the anniversary of Halabja and mindful of the mass graves of Kurds discovered after the Al Anfal genocidal campaign, Amnesty International has today published a press release condemning Turkey’s shocking silence over the continuing discovery of mass graves in Turkey.
In these graves lie, Ayhan and his comrades, the Kurdish activists and the Kurdish villagers from the towns and villages I visited, each with their own ghastly testimony buried with them.
They have been silenced, for now.
But their memory should be honoured!
Thousands upon thousands of them in graves dug without ceremony nor respect and bodies dumped to hide the crimes of their assassins.
Each with their own personal story to tell.
Now is the time to begin gently and sensitively uncovering the truth.
The truth is ghastly frankly but none the less needs to be faced.
These graves need to be uncovered in a manner that respects international law on mass graves and human rights violations. They need to be identified, photographed and documented. Witness statements need to brought together and investigations should be opened.
They need to be laid to rest in a manner that is respectful of their families and friends and their stories need to be told.
This needs to be done!
The memory of these people needs to be honoured!
The continuing silence and criminal and shameful attitudes of the Turkish Government and media, as detailed by Amnesty International today, should make clear to all, the racist nature of Turkish society if this is their attitude to the killings of thousands of innocent people and the treatment of prisoners in time of war!
Perhaps Turkish society’s attitudes and morality has sunk so low it is time now to reflect and to reconcile the past!
Or perhaps it’s the case that Turkish society does not know the whole picture in which case the whole story now needs to be told!
And the Kurdish people who lie in those shallow mass graves have been woken and are ready to tell it!
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