World Bulletin / News Desk
The Gendarmerie General Command has announced that an excavation site located in the Mutki district of Bitlis province is a licensed graveyard where the dead bodies of outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militants were buried.
In a statement released on its website, the gendarmerie said, "terrorists killed by security forces were buried in the graveyard by the Municipality of Mutki." The statement dismissed news reports that the gendarmerie had buried militants without official permission and said the burials were made in line with established procedures.
The particular area that was excavated was chosen based on information in an application to the Bitlis Prosecutor's Office about six months ago, tipping off investigators as to the possible location of some bodies that belong to people who went missing in the 1990s -- allegedly as the result of the activities of an illegal network inside the gendarmerie called JİTEM.
JİTEM is thought to be responsible for most of Turkey's unsolved murders in the predominantly Kurdish East and Southeast. Fragments of bones and skulls were unearthed during excavations in Mutki last month. The bones and skulls were found to belong to 17 PKK members who were killed in four armed clashes in 1999. The fragments were reportedly buried under the supervision of prosecutors, municipal officials and doctors.
Last Mod: 08 Şubat 2011, 16:43