Bones 'disappear' from mass grave in Turkey, witness claims
ISTANBUL - Daily News with Wires | 2/6/2011 12:00:00 AM |
Gendarmerie conducted an illicit dig on a mass grave in Bitlis without the knowledge of prosecutors and absconded with the bones of people buried there, according to a witness.
Members of the gendarmerie conducted an excavation on a mass grave in Bitlis’ Mutki district without the knowledge of prosecutors and absconded with the bones of people buried there, according to a witness.
Two heavy machines dug the ground in the gendarmerie station’s yard on Jan. 29, daily Raikal and daily Taraf reported witness Maşallah Erçelebi as saying.
“They took out human bones from there. I applied to the [Human Rights Foundation] the day after; they told the prosecution about the matter,” he said.
The remains are believed to belong to Alican Kızılkaya and two others. Mehmet Nuri Kızılkaya has accused members of the gendarmerie of torturing and killing his brother, Alican Kızılkaya, before burying his body in the yard.
Members of the gendarmerie told Prosecutor Çetin Küçet, who is directing the investigation into the case, that while they had carried out the extra dig, they had only located animal bones that were later disposed.
Excavations at the site in the eastern province began Jan. 5 after relatives of the victims of several unsolved murders told authorities that they believed their loved ones had been buried at the site next to the Mutki gendarmerie station. Twelve skeletons were uncovered on the first day of the dig, while the remains of eight more were unearthed Jan. 20.
Erçelebi said he had seen bodies half buried in the yard in 1995 but added that he, like many others, was “afraid to talk” about the issue at the time.
Meanwhile, Fatma Kurtalan, a Van deputy for the Peace and Democracy Party, or BDP, has officially demanded a parliamentary inquest into the mass graves. Kurtalan said the state was “directly responsible” for the mass graves unearthed near a military post and added that authorities should investigate whether or not there are more mass graves in the region.
The deputy also asked Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan a parliamentary question as to what had he done about the victims of unsolved murders during his nine years in office.