Soldiers Open fire on Villagers in Hakkari Near Border, 14-Year-Old Child Loses His Life

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  • August 2, 2019
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*Photo: Yüksekova Haber

Click to read the article in Turkish (1) (2) / Kurdish

Soldiers opened fire on villagers who were doing border trade in Çemekurk village of Derecik district in the mostly Kurdish-populated border province of Hakkari.

While 14-year-old Vedat Ekinci died in the fire, one person was heavily wounded.

Sait Dede, an MP for Hakkari from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) told bianet that the incident occurred yesterday (August 1) at between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m.

“There is only a brook between Çemekurk village and Southern Kurdistan. When you cross the brook, you enter the opposite side of the border. These are places these people always go to.

“Five people go in the morning and they come back on the same day. One their way back, soldiers open fire on them. Villagers say the fire was opened from land and close distance.

“Border trade has been done there before. Both state and the soldiers, everybody knows this. Besides, these people have no other source of income. Eighty percent of their relatives live on the other side of the border.

“Villagers said that soldiers opened fire on horses many times recently. This time, a young person lost his life. Soldiers do not have the right to open fire. What they can do is detention and enforce the law on violating the border. What is that to kill people because they cross the border?

“This incident is a result of the policies of impunity. If those responsible for the Roboski Massacre were held accountable, we would not live new Roboskis today. The lack of the solution to the Kurdish problem is the sole reason for what has been lived.”

Garo Paylan, another MP of the HDP, shared a video of the aftermath of the incident on Twitter, saying, “A 14-year-old child named Vedat Ekinci has been killed by fire from a helicopter in Hakkari. Roboski Massacre continues!” in a tweet. In the video, soldiers and civilians are seen around the wounded child.

Statement of Governorship

The Governorship of Hakkari released a statement today (July 2), saying that soldiers opened fire after a stop warning. It stated that the incident occurred in an area two kilometers afar from Derecik district where “the terrorist organization uses intensively.”

The soldiers fired warning shots after the people did not obey the stop warning, according to the governorship.

“Because the terrain is rough and rocky, one citizen of ours was wounded from a bouncing bullet. Our wounded citizen was brought to the Derecik Field Hospital by vehicles that belong to our Border Troops. He, unfortunately, lost his life despite all interventions,” the Governorship said. (RT/VK)