Policeman who killed two boys with vehicle in Turkey’s southeast ‘didn’t know how to use armored car
ANKARAThe police officer who killed two children in the Silopi district of the southeastern province of Şırnak with his armored car did not know how to operate the vehicle, according to a report prepared by the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), daily Cumhuriyet reported May 22.
Two brothers were killed after a police vehicle crashed into a house in Silopi’s Karşıyaka neighborhood late on May 3. The incident occurred while the children, Muhammet Yıldırım, 7, and Furkan Yıldırım, 6, were asleep.
After the incident, the CHP sent a delegation to the neighborhood to investigate the deaths, and CHP deputy leader Veli Ağbaba; Istanbul lawmakers Selina Doğan and Onursal Adıgüzel; the district head of the southeastern province of Diyarbakır, Mehmet Sayın; and Şırnak district head Mehmet Uğur prepared a report.
The report said that in 2016 and the first five months of 2017, a total of 13 people, seven of whom were children, died because of accidents caused by armored vehicles.
Speaking to the delegation, the boys’ father, Mesut Yıldırım, said they pulled the children’s dead bodies from under the rubble with the help of neighbors.
“We took them to the hospital, the police took their vehicle under protection and the prosecutor didn’t come the whole night. They removed the vehicle without letting the prosecutor know. Witnesses said the prosecutor got very angry after seeing that the vehicle was removed without him knowing about it,” Yıldırım told the CHP, as locals in the area voiced their concerns about the speed of armored vehicles.
The delegation also spoke to the police officer, who was arrested after the incident, in a prison in Şırnak. The man said he had been a police officer for five years and had been on duty in Şırnak for the past 18 months.
Noting that they were patrolling the area while protecting the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) building, the police officer said the vehicle came to a halt and started going downhill before crashing into the house.
According to the report, the police officer said he had not received any special training to use the vehicle and only possessed a regular, B-class driving license, adding that he had been using the vehicle for two weeks before the accident occurred.
He also talked about the aftermath of the deadly incident.
“We pulled the wounded out of the house with friends. We also pulled two children out. The ambulances hadn’t arrived, so we sent them to the hospital with cars,” he said.
The report drew attention to the discrepancies between the statements of the police and locals.
In addition, the CHP said the frequency of maintenance efforts for the armored vehicles should be investigated, adding that there were no findings as to whether police officers were receiving sufficient training to operate the vehicles.