Eighth Anniversary of Roboski Massacre

Tomorrow marks the 8th anniversary of Roboski massacre, which claimed the lives of 34 civilians, including 19 children: So long as the responsible military and political decision makers are not penalized, no claim of coming to terms with the past will be credible.

Tomorrow (December 28) marks the eighth anniversary of Roboski massacre. On December 28, 2011, 34 civilians, including 19 children, lost their lives in Roboski village of Uludere in Turkey's Kurdish-majority province of Sirnak in the bombardment of Turkish Armed Forces' fighter jets.

An investigation was launched into the massacre. Diyarbakir Chief Public Prosecutor's Office gave a verdict of non-jurisdiction for "reckless killing" and sent the file to the Military Prosecutor's Office of the General Staff. The Office gave a ruling of "non-prosecution" on January 7, 2014.

As the attorneys of the aggrieved families appealed against this ruling, the file was taken to the Constitutional Court on July 18, 2014.

In the preliminary examination undertaken on the petition and its addendums by the Constitutional Court, a series of missing points were detected and the applicants were requested to eliminate them. However, the application of the families was rejected on February 24, 2015 on the ground that "the missing points were not eliminated within due time."

As the domestic remedies were exhausted, an individual application was made to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in the name of 281 people who were the relatives of the deceased 34 civilians. The ECtHR rejected the application on May 17, 2018.

'A crime against humanity'

The Justice for Roboski Initiative has released a statement on the occasion of the eighth anniversary of the massacre.

Calling on the authorities to "find the murderers and not to repeat Roboski ever again", the Initiative has stated the following in brief:

"Roboski symbolizes a cruelty that did not even give the chance to live to people who were condemned to sustain their lives on the back of a mule due to the borders drawn against their will.

"With the shameful political statements made afterwards, Roboski will acquire its rightful place in the history of Turkey as a crime committed not only against Kurds, but against humanity as well.

"So long as the responsible military and political decision makers are not penalized, no claims of coming to terms with the past or calling the coup plotters to account will be credible.

'So long as Roboski is not solved...'

"The power holders who begrudge even a message of apology to the villagers of Roboski can make statements on sharing sorrow and building a common and honorable future as they wish, but these statements will not be reciprocated and cannot restore the abused trust.

"So long as Roboski is not solved and what happened in Roboski is not explained to people, there will be no civilianization or democratization.

'There is no peace without justice'

"It is obvious that there cannot be peace without justice and, by resisting change, those regimes that cannot establish justice are paving the way for bloody civil wars which will cause the maps to be redrawn.

"We know that it is not possible to draw a new democratic constitution by covering up Roboski and by making people forget the human tragedy that occured in Roboski.

"In the 96th month of the atrocity that unfolded in Roboski, we call on the ones who rule the country to act responsibly and the public to be sensible."

Discussion and documentary screening in Ankara

The Justice for Roboski Initiative will meet at the Human Rights Association (IHD) Ankara branch tomorrow and mark the eighth anniversary of the massacre. After a statement for the press is read out there, a panel discussion and documentary screening will be held at the Conference Hall of Mulkiyeliler Birligi Cultural Center.

While Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) MPs Abdullah Koc and Omer Faruk Gergerlioglu, HDP's Kars Co-Mayor Ayhan Bilgen and Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TIHV) Former Chair Yavuz Eren will address the audience in panel discussion, the documentary of 'A Film for Roboski" (Roboski Icin Bir Film) by Amit Kivanc will be screened.

Source: English Bianet