CHP lawmaker asks in parliament why student was shot dead at Nevruz celebrations in Turkey’s southeast
ANKARA/DİYARBAKIRA lawmaker from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has asked why a student was shot dead by the police at the Nevruz celebrations held in the Bağlar district of the southeastern province of Diyarbakır on March 21.
CHP Istanbul lawmaker Sezgin Tanrıkulu asked for details over the death of the 23-year-old university student Kemal Kurkut, and asked why he was killed when instead he could have “been ‘neutralized’ by hundreds of police officers in the area.”
In a parliamentary question directed at Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım, Tanrıkulu asked about allegations that the police made journalists delete footages of the incident in the area.
“Is it true that police forced journalists in the area to delete the footages on their cameras, as well as forced them to format their memory cards?” Tanrıkulu said.
The Diyarbakır Governor’s Office on March 22 said Kurkut was killed on suspicions that he was a suicide bomber.
According to a statement released by the governor’s office, Kurkut was carrying a backpack when trying to enter the area but refused to pass through security checks.
“I have a bomb in my bag, I will kill you all,” Kurkut allegedly shouted before attacking security forces officers with a knife, the statement said.
Referring to the governor’s statement, Tanrıkulu said that no backpack was seen in the footages, while adding that he was bare-chested.
“Why was a statement, which was so far from persuasiveness said a man shouted ‘I have a bomb in my bag,’ even though he didn’t have a bag and was bare-chested, was made? Why was Kemal Kurkut, who was holding a knife, killed when the police could have caught him alive?” he added.
Meanwhile, Osman Baydemir, an opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) lawmaker from the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa, said the incident was an “extrajudicial execution.”
“Kemal Kurkut, a student who came from [the eastern province of] Malatya for the Nevruz celebrations, was killed 300 meters away from the celebration area. We find this unacceptable. This is an extrajudicial killing and a murder,” Baydemir told journalists at a press conference in Diyarbakır, adding that the party contacted Diyarbakır Governor Hüseyin Aksoy to demand “the perpetrators of the murder be arrested.”
Aksoy on March 22 said the issue was being investigated in all aspects.
“It’s a saddening incident,”Aksoy said.