‘Massacre case likely to be dropped’

‘Massacre case likely to be dropped’

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
The chairman of the first chamber of the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) said the 1993 Sivas massacre case will probably be dropped due to a statute of limitations, as “there is nothing else to do.”

With only a few days remaining before an Ankara court decides whether to drop the controversial Sivas massacre case March 13, prosecutor İbrahim Okur said the statute of limitations was a feature of modern criminal law, and the court would exercise its judicial discretion, while speaking to the private broadcasting station NTV.

“There are five suspects in the case. Four of them were never caught by the police while the other one was freed by the court. But we see the case has already [lapsed]. These suspects are not the actual perpetrators; they were the ones who assisted. There is nothing else to do for now,” Okur said.

On July 2, 1993, a group of religious extremists set fire to the Madımak Hotel where participants in the Pir Sultan Abdal Festival were staying. The torching led to the deaths of 33 intellectuals, mostly members of Turkey’s Alevi minority, as well as two hotel staff members. The tragic event came to be known as the Madımak Massacre. Two arsonists also died in the fire.

Lawyer Şenal Sarıhan, who represents the victims’ families in court, said on March 7 that even if the court drops the case due to the statute of limitations, they would still continue to pursue their right