Justin Vela

In southeast Turkey…

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A woman wearing a handband of colors from the Kurdish flag at the funeral of her son, a PKK fighter who was allegedly killed by the Turkish military and his body mutilated. Diyarbakir, Turkey. June 2010.

DIYARBAKIR, TURKEY-When I arrived in Diyarbakir yesterday I was told that a 3 day funeral for a PKK guerrilla killed by the Turkish military had just begun.

Visiting the center today I interviewed the father, mother, and cousin of the guerrilla, who had been in his final year of university when he decided to take up arms. The family was distraught yet also made clear what has been repeated to me in interviews with victims of the recent violence in southeast Turkey, lawyers, and social workers. The more Kurds that are killed by the Turkish military, the more Kurds are willing to take up arms. During one interview the father of a minor who was arrested for throwing stones at Turkish police during a demonstration and given 7 years in jail said that the Turkish government is creating the next generations of Kurdish militants.

The Kurdish issue in Turkey has come to a breaking point. Expectations for peace arose last year with the ruling AKP’s Kurdish initiative and after its failing Kurds are angry. Disturbingly many people I am speaking to here are advocating for more violence, even the people who have lost family members or been tortured themselves.

Today I also published a story on Turkey threatening to cut ties with Israel.


Written by Justin Vela

July 6, 2010 at 12:19 am

Posted in turkey

Tagged with , , , , ,

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