Cousin of Child Killed by Soldiers Told What Happened

Click to read the article in Turkish / Kurdish

After soldiers opened fire on three people who were crossing to the Iraq Kurdistan Region from Hakkari, Vedat Ekinci (14) was killed and his brother Burhan Ekinci (19) was wounded.

H.E., who was together with the brothers and escaped unhurt, told bianet that they crossed the border, searching for their animals that were lost.

“At around 3 p.m., I, Vedat, and his brother Burhan went to search for our animals that were lost. Then we crossed the border which is 200 meters afar from our village. When we just crossed the border, we came across the soldiers. We had our horses with us, they ran away when they saw the soldiers.

“We turned back to hold the horses. When we moved away about 20 meters, fire opened. Vedat was shot from his back, near his heart. He fell to the ground, drenched in blood.

“I said, ‘For God’s sake, call an ambulance. Don’t you have a conscience?’ But they didn’t. They were sitting, looking at us and laughing. When Burhan shouted, one soldier held him by his neck and threw him to the ground and hit his foot with the rifle butt. His foot was broken.

“Soldiers heard our voice and came from the outpost that was 100 meters afar. They tried to help. They were also angry at the other soldiers. They said, ‘The child dying here, why don’t you help’. Then we went to the battalion. But Vedat lost a lot of blood. He died on my lap.

“We came eye to eye with the soldiers. We were that close. We weren’t said, ‘Stop’ or something. The soldiers saw us anyway, they knew we were from the village. They know us. We break bread with these soldiers. We always come and go here, pasturing our animals. The soldiers used to say, ‘No problem, you can go.’

“Until two years ago, there were many [military] operations here but right now there are no operations. Everyone does smuggling here, we do that too. But yesterday, we went only for our animals. I also told the battalion commander, ‘Our animals were not loaded, we were looking for our lost animals.'” (RT)