Turkish Interior Ministry admits to possible police hand in boy’s death

Turkish Interior Ministry admits to possible police hand in boy’s death

Turkish Interior Ministry admits to possible police hand in boy’s death

People carry the coffin of 12-year-old boy Nihat Kazanhan, who was allegedly shot dead by police in the Cizre district of Şırnak on Jan. 14. AFP Photo

Turkey’s Interior Ministry has admitted that police might have been responsible for shooting dead 12-year-old Nihat Kazanhan in Cizre last week, despite earlier claims by PM Ahmet Davutoğlu that police were not involved.

“According to the first findings of inspectors, there are suggestions that some of the security forces inside vehicles at the scene might be at fault in the incident,” the ministry said in a statement released Jan. 20.

Kazanhan was allegedly shot dead without warning by police on Jan. 14 in the restive southeastern district of Cizre as he played with friends. According to an eyewitness only identified as E.S., police came to the Yafes neighborhood and told children playing there, “as long as you throw stones, we’ll shoot bullets at you,” before immediately launching a barrage of tear gas and bullets at the children.

A day after the killing, Davutoğlu denied that the death of Kazanhan had come at the hands of the security forces.

“I want to express clearly that it is out of the question that the boy who lost his life in Cizre was shot dead by our security forces’ bullets,” state-run Anadolu Agency quoted Davutoğlu as saying. “An actual intervention did not occur, nor was tear gas used.”

But President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Jan. 20 that the state was aware of “plots” in Cizre, suggesting that some parts of the security forces might be responsible for attempting to derail the Kurdish peace bid.

Seven people have been killed in violence in Cizre and the nearby district of Silopi since the end of last month.

Meanwhile, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan criticized People’s Democracy Party (HDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş for his claims on the recent killings in Cizre.

HDP municipalities in the region are damaging state vehicles, Erdoğan said, adding that arrested and detained people were ultimately affiliated to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Demirtaş claimed that deep state actors were active in Cizre incident and accused the government of being aware of and protecting those groups.