Families in Turkey demand speedy probe on suspected mass grave

The family members also asked the prosecutors to order an excavation into the garden of a gendarmerie outpost in Mutki.

Families in Turkey demand speedy probe on suspected mass grave

World Bulletin / News Desk

Family members of victims of unsolved murders have asked civilian prosecutors to speed up the ongoing investigation into bone fragments discovered in the Mutki district of eastern Bitlis province last week, expressing concern that shady powers may destroy the bones of other victims that have yet to be unearthed.

The family members also asked the prosecutors to order an excavation into the garden of a gendarmerie outpost in Mutki. They believe many people were killed and later buried in the garden of the outpost by security forces in the 1990s. Hasan Ceylan, the head of the Bitlis branch of the Human Rights Association (İHD), said they also expect excavations at four different spots in the district.

Unsolved murders have recently returned to the agenda in Turkey, with the discovery of the remains of 12 human bodies in Mutki. It is believed that an illegal network inside the gendarmerie called JİTEM is responsible for the deaths, as well as most of Turkey's unsolved murders in the prominently Kurdish East and Southeast in the 1990s.

The bone fragments were sent to the Council of Forensic Medicine (ATK) for examination. Investigators say the bodies might belong to civilians allegedly killed by JİTEM officers as well as members of the militant Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

The younger brother of Alican Kızılkaya, who was reportedly shot dead and buried in the garden of a gendarmerie outpost in Mutki, told a civilian prosecutor in the district that he is worried that those who killed civilians in the region and later disposed of their bodies may destroy the bone fragments of the victims to prevent the prosecutor from finding more evidence.

“There are municipality workers who witnessed the burying of bodies. They know where the bodies were buried. We are worried that the bones in the garden of the outpost may be retrieved and disposed of. Therefore, we asked civilian prosecutors to extend the investigation to the outpost and lose no time in finding the bone fragments in the garden,” stated Mehmet Nuri Kızılkaya.

Alican Kızılkaya joined the PKK in 1992 but regretted doing so after a short while and surrendered to security forces. However, he was killed and buried in the garden of a gendarmerie outpost in Mutki upon Ret. Gen. Çetin Doğan's order, according to his brother.

In the meantime, İHD's Ceylan called on families of victims of unsolved murders to get in contact with civilian prosecutors to shed light on the mysterious killings.

Enis Gül, the head of the Bitlis Bar Association, told Cihan news agency, his association would lend legal assistance to the family members of victims of unsolved murders who ask for help in their efforts to find out about the whereabouts of their loved ones. He said the “confidential” course of the investigation is important for the families of victims of unsolved murders.

Last Mod: 09 Ocak 2011, 19:01
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