Turkey positively identifies first missing person in 1994

The discovery of Avcıl's body is the first time in the investigation being conducted by the Mardin Prosecutor's Office that any of the missing have been positively identified.

Turkey positively identifies first missing person in 1994

World Bulletin / News Desk 

Authorities have identified the remains of a person buried in a cemetery for unclaimed people as Vecdi Avcıl, who disappeared while in custody in 1994 in the southeastern province of Mardin, in what is the first time such an identification has taken place.

Thirteen people were reported missing after being taken into custody by gendarmes in Mardin's Derik district between 1992 and 1994. The discovery of Avcıl's body is the first time in the investigation being conducted by the Mardin Prosecutor's Office that any of the missing have been positively identified.

DNA testing on the remains discovered in the cemetery was carried out by the Council of Forensic Medicine (ATK) two months ago, according to a report that appeared in the Radikal daily on Thursday.

Earlier on in the investigation, the victim's son, Yasin Avcıl, testified to the prosecutor, claiming that his father had been killed in 1994 after being taken into custody by local gendarmes as part of an operation against the militant Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

An unauthorized and clandestine body established inside the gendarmerie force called JİTEM conducted counterterrorism efforts with no regard to the laws in place in the 1990s, terrorizing the predominantly Kurdish East and Southeast. Thousands went missing during that decade. International rights groups have complained that Turkey is not doing enough to prosecute those responsible for JİTEM's atrocities.

The Mardin Prosecutor's Office, which has so far investigated 13 similar murders, including that of Avcı, had previously filed an indictment against Gen. Musa Çitil, currently the Ankara Gendarmerie regional commander, who was stationed in Mardin at the time. However, the Mardin 1st High Criminal Court rejected the indictment on the grounds that there was no clear evidence that any of the supposed victims had been killed. Avcıl's identification is the first piece of evidence documenting the death of one of the missing in the indictment.

The indictment was finally accepted last month and a legal proceedings launched against Gen. Çitil. The first hearing will be held in October. The prosecution wants life for the accused general.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 27 Eylül 2012, 17:59
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