Turkish police allegedly shoot dead 14-year-old shoe-shiner in latest attack in Cizre
Ümit Kurt did not survive after being rushed to the hospital. DHA Photo
Ümit Kurt. DHA Photo
Ümit Kurt, a shoe-shiner, was gunned down by police in the district’s Cudi neighborhood, reportedly as he was attempting to flee police.
Emirhan Uysal, the head of the Şırnak branch of the Human Rights Association (İHD), said the autopsy suggested Kurt had been shot in the back by police, according to Ayça Söylemez of web portal Bianet.
Police entered the neighborhood after trenches dug by residents against the security forces were filled in, following negotiations between law enforcement officers and Cizre’s co-mayors.
“The police entered the neighborhood with armed personnel carriers from the side where the filled-in trenches are. There was no incident, protest or crowd in the area, but according to the district governor, police fired when they saw armed people with masks,” Uysal said.
“But the people that were hit were a shoe-shiner [in work clothes] returning from work and a civil servant in a suit. Neither had their face covered,” he said.
Uysal said Çelebi Sakçak, the injured civil servant, was expected to survive the attack but could be left paralyzed.
Emrah Karakuş, a friend of the victim, said Kurt had come to help him work that evening.
“All of a sudden the power went out and dozens of armored personnel carriers entered the neighborhood and opened fire randomly. We didn’t understand what had happened so suddenly. Ümit fell to the ground. We brought him to hospital, but he died,” Karakuş said.
Following the killing, around 20 armored personnel carriers and other police cars with their license plates removed were dispatched to the morgue at Cizre State Hospital where the autopsy on Kurt’s body was being conducted.
Late last month, three people were killed after supporters of the outlawed Islamist Kurdish movement Hizbullah through its legal extension, the Free Cause Party (Hüda-Par), allegedly attacked the Patriotic Revolutionary Youth Movement (YDG-H), the youth wing of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
A fourth person succumbed to injuries sustained in the incidents on Jan. 4, while another boy, Musa Azma, was shot dead by police on his balcony on Jan. 3 in the nearby district of Silopi during a demonstration to protest the earlier violence in Cizre.