HDP, families call on Erdoğan to act against Uludere massacre victims
DHA PhotoSelahattin Demirtaş, co-chair of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) has joined the commemoration of the 34 villagers who lost their lives in a Turkish military airstrike in 2011 in the southeastern province of Şırnak, calling on the government find those responsible for the deaths.
“You have closed the file at the courthouse,” Demirtaş said Dec. 28. “But how will you close the file in the conscience of the people?”
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who was prime minister at the time, also received a share of Demirtaş’s criticism, who recalled the Erdoğan had pledged the families of the victims to not allow the closure of the case.
“These families will not give you peace until the suspects of this case face the judge,” he said. “We will not leave this world before we call those who held this massacre to account.”
Demirtaş also said the government had held the HDP responsible for the street clashes in the region on Oct. 6-7 this year, despite the party not playing a role.
“They are used to blaming others for their crimes,” he said.
A crowd, including families of the victims, gathered to visit the cemetery, and also demanded Erdoğan to keep his promise to find those who were responsible for the killing.
Erdoğan had promised families the incident would be investigated down to the last detail and whoever was responsible would be found, Şıvan Encü, who lost his 16-year-old brother and 11 other relatives in Roboski, told news website Radikal.
“We have demanded the perpetrators to be tried by civilian courts during the talks with the president. The perpetrators being tried by a military court amounts to covering up the incident and acquitting those responsible,” he said. “Erdoğan said this was not going to happen. He said they would do everything possible if a negative decision was made in the prosecution. Erdoğan said they ‘would not make concessions and the perpetrators would be investigated and punished.’ We have not forgotten the president’s promise.”
Encü added that it was not a massacre with unidentified assailants, accusing the government of concealing those responsible.
“We did not only lose our relatives, but also sustained pressure and threatens for fighting for justice,” Encü said.
The massacre took place Dec. 28, 2011, when the Turkish army carried out air strikes in the village of Ortasu (Roboski in Kurdish), near the Turkish-Iraqi border, killing 34 civilians after allegedly mistaking them for militants belonging to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).