Chain of negligence, provocations behind Sivas massacre, says inquiry head

Stating that there were well-organized provocations behind the 1993 Sivas incident, Seyfi stated that some groups spread provocative false information to different communities in the city before the hotel was attacked.

Chain of negligence, provocations behind Sivas massacre, says inquiry head

The former head of a parliamentary commission of inquiry set up to investigate the Sivas Massacre in which 37 people died inside Sivas' Madımak Hotel on July 2, 1993, has stated that there was a chain of negligence and provocations behind the tragedy.

On July 2, 1993, an angry mob stormed the Alevi Pir Sultan Abdal Cultural and Literary Festival, the participants of which were staying at the Madımak Hotel in downtown Sivas. Thirty-three artists and intellectuals, along with two hotel workers and two assailants, died inside the hotel.

Speaking to Today's Zaman, Osman Seyfi, the former head of a parliamentary commission of inquiry established to investigate the Sivas incidents, said no intervention was made by the security forces against anyone in the angry mob until the mob set the hotel building on fire at that time. Stating that there were well-organized provocations behind the Sivas incidents, Seyfi stated that some groups spread provocative false information to both Sunni and Alevi communities living in the city before the incidents took place, adding: “We heard from the mukhtar of Sivas' Alibaba neighborhood, where Alevis predominantly reside. He said some people that he had never seen before were telling people living in the Alevi neighborhood false claims such as ‘Sunnis are killing Alevis in Sivas.' Similar people went to the Sunni neighborhood and made false claims such as ‘Alevis are burning a mosque in the Alibaba neighborhood,' before the incident.”

Stating that there was huge negligence by the head of the police department and the governor of the time of the incident, Seyfi stated: “The soldiers never used their guns from the beginning of the incident. They only fired their guns into the air several times when the fire in the hotel started. The crowd dispersed. We also heard from National Intelligence Organization [MİT] members during our investigation. I asked how many MİT officials are in Sivas. They said three. How can only three MİT officials collect intelligence in the whole city? MİT was deactivated in Sivas. When I asked if they received any intelligence before the incident, they said they did not receive any.”

Seyfi said they talked to 40 mukhtars, all the nongovernmental organizations, all of the survivors of the incident, journalists, MİT officials and representatives of political parties in Sivas during their investigation.

Col. Ertan Urunga, the first judge of the Sivas trial heard by the State Security Court (DGM), told Today's Zaman that all government officials, from the prime minister to the garrison commander of that time, were seriously negligent in the incident. “The Sivas governor of that period informed the prime minister about the seriousness of the incident and said they have to take immediate actions against the incident, but the prime minister didn't care and he moved slowly,” he said.

Urunga said the necessary precautions were not taken by the government to prevent the massacre from happening.

Cihan

Güncelleme Tarihi: 03 Temmuz 2013, 09:50
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