Turkish officers accused of executing PKK militants, civilian
VAN - Doğan News Agency (DHA)
File photo shows an operation where two PKK members were captured in Bingöl in 2011. DHA photoSeventeen Turkish soldiers, including three officers, were arrested today on charges of summarily executing two militants and one civilian in a military operation.
Two militants from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and one civilian, whom the militants had taken hostage after taking shelter in his house, were killed in a shootout with soldiers near Buğulukaynak village in the eastern province of Van in 2009.
An investigation was launched after a soldier who took part in the operation claimed that the militants and the civilian were not killed in a firefight but were summarily executed by the soldiers.
A prosecutor questioned 17 soldiers related to the incident, including the commander of the Van Provincial Gendarmerie Regiment at the time, retired Col. Vecihi Halil İyigün, Maj. Hakan Başaklıgil, Lt. Mulis Çolak, one non-commissioned officer and 13 specialist sergeants.
The suspects were then sent to a courthouse in Van's Erciş district, where they were arrested on charges of voluntary manslaughter.
The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.