PKK member’s grave leads to locals’ uproar

PKK member’s grave leads to locals’ uproar

ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
PKK member’s grave leads to locals’ uproar

Hundreds of people march in Istanbul’s Çekmeköy district calling for a grave, which reportedly belongs to a PKK militant, to be transferred from their district. DHA photo

A grave allegedly belonging to an outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militant has caused an uproar in Istanbul’s Çekmeköy district.

Ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) district officials demanded the grave be transferred from their district yesterday.

According to news portal Gerçek Gündem’s (True Agenda) report, representatives of the two parties contacted the district mayor yesterday to demand the removal of the grave from the Ekşioğlu cemetery in their district with a petition from citizens who backed the proposal.

The district mayor’s office reportedly invited the main opposition Republican Peoples’ Party (CHP) to “lend their support to reach a consensus on the matter.”

However CHP district head Murat Cirav said their party “could not approve of such an inhumane action,” and officially declared that they would not back the two parties’ demand.

Another CHP official, Doğan Çakmak, also said the body had been buried in accordance with legal and religious procedures by state officials. “We do not understand what the AKP and MHP are trying to do. We will never support such an initiative,” Çakmak was quoted as saying.

Meanwhile nearly 2,000 people in the Çekmeköy district held a protest on Sept. 10 calling for the grave to be transferred from their district, daily Hürriyet reported. The group chanted slogans such as “PKK [go] to hell” and was stopped by the police before it reached the cemetery.

The grave reportedly belongs to a militant who was killed in clashes on Sept. 9 in the southeastern province of Şırnak’s Beytüşşebap.