Commemorations mark fourth year of Uludere massacre

Commemorations mark fourth year of Uludere massacre

ŞIRNAK – Doğan News Agency
Commemorations mark fourth year of Uludere massacre

AA photo

Locals and Kurdish problem-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputies have gathered to commemorate the fourth anniversary of the Uludere massacre in which 34 people were killed at the border with Iraq by a Turkish jet airstrike. 

The Roboski Families Association organized the commemoration in the Ortasu village (“Roboski” in Kurdish) in Uludere, located in the southeastern province of Şırnak. 

The commemoration began with a moment of silence, while the victims’ families took part in the ceremony wearing black clothes and carrying pictures of their children. 

HDP deputies, the provincial and district heads of the Democratic Regions Party (DBP) and representatives from bar associations and civil society organizations attended the commemoration, where the victims were remembered and the need to bring those responsible to account was reiterated. 

After the victims’ families briefly conveyed their messages, HDP Şanlıurfa deputy Osman Baydemir delivered a speech in Kurdish in which he said the recent massacres in Diyarbakır, Suruç and Ankara could have been prevented if those responsible for the massacre in Uludere were held to account. 

“We can only alleviate your pain by heralding the arrival of peace,” Baydemir said. “If those responsible for this massacre were punished, perhaps the massacres in Diyarbakır, Suruç and Ankara could have been prevented. If they go unpunished, worse massacres can take place,” he added. 

HDP deputy chair and Adana deputy Meral Danış Beştaş also criticized the legal system for failing to bring forth a single suspect and for closing the case with a dismissal of charges. 

“They took action for this massacre upon orders from the chain of command,” Beştaş claimed, while arguing the ongoing military operations in the southeastern districts of Cizre, Silopi and Sur were “massacres” by the “murderers in Roboski.”

Beştaş also alleged the bodies of 16 deceased persons were being stored on top of each other because the morgue in Şırnak state hospital ran out of space. 

A total of 34 civilians, who were allegedly mistaken for outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants while smuggling goods into Turkey, were killed in what was later termed the Uludere or Roboski massacre on Dec. 28, 2011, in attacks carried out by F-16s and unmanned aerial vehicles.