Government, opposition split over Van conditions

Government, opposition split over Van conditions

Government, opposition split over Van conditions

Deputy Prime Minister Beşir Atalay (R) praises the conditions of the Tahir Paşa Container City, while CHP leader Kılıçdaroğlu says people in Van are suffering. AA photo

Uludere’s district governor has said the perpetrators of an attempted lynching launched against him during a visit to the relatives of men killed in an air raid last week were not locals of the southeastern town.

Naif Yavuz was attacked by a group of people Dec. 31 while traveling to Gülyazı village to offer condolences to the families of 35 killed civilians in Uludure in Şırnak province on Dec. 28 in a botched air raid by the Turkish military.

“After the incident on the border I attended the autopsies, cried for two days with the families. I know the families personally; I have no doubt that they are loyal to the country. During the lynching attempt, Uludere villagers tried to save me, I know that the ones who attacked me were provocateurs from outside,” Yavuz said. “I am from [the eastern province of] Muş; I grew up here,” Yavuz told Anatolia news agency yesterday, adding that he had no intention of accepting a new posting elsewhere.
The attack against Yavuz took place when he was in a tent together with the relatives of victims. Yavuz was taken out of the tent for protection by his guards after some people hurled stones at him, but more than 100 people were outside to lynch him, according to the reports.

One of his guards and reporters were also the target of the attackers.

The deputy governor escaped from the lynching attempt with the help of some villagers and Hasip Kaplan, deputy leader of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), Anatolia news agency reported.
Yavuz managed to take shelter in a gas station where he was besieged for some time; after the situation calmed down, he was hospitalized at Şırnak Military Hospital, where he is in fair condition.
“While I was in the funeral house, some people called and told me not to go there but I said that those killed children were my children as well. I have photographs with every one of them,” Yavuz said yesterday at the hospital.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called and inquired about the incident, Yavuz said.

Kaplan has warned against any visits from state officials to the village of Uludere. “The people do not want to see them [state officials] here right now,” Kaplan was quoted as saying by Doğan news agency. “If they come here, we might not be able to control the young people.”

Meanwhile, DNA samples of the air raid victims have been taken and might be used as a tool to determine family members to receive compensation, according to media reports.

Twenty-five of the victims were members of the same family and carried the same surname.

The Şırnak Governor’s Office is expected to offer 22,561 Turkish Liras in compensation for each victim as the state did in a similar case when three villagers were killed accidentally by military forces in the southern province of Hatay on Jun 29, 2010.

Compensation, however, may rise to 100,000 liras according to a senior official, daily Hürriyet reported.