Not Bosnia, but Kurdistan of Turkey!
mass grave found in the Bitlis Region; locals unable
to intervene to request
proper burial for fear of persecution by the state,
government officials and military forces
Two different mass grave sites containing
dozens of bodies have been found
in the Tatvan District of the Bitlis Region
in Northern Kurdistan (Eastern
The first of the two sites is located on the summit
of Bindaki Mountain. The
second is at the foot of Kender Mountain. Locals
from nearby Karuka village
have been unable to intervene to request for a
proper burial for the deceased
for fear of state retribution and reprisal.
Remnants of the attire worn by PKK guerillas:
special shoe called “Mekap” and a
long cloth sash wrapped around the waist for
back support called “ªûtik”.
According to numerous first-hand sources, including
a 60 year old shepherd
from nearby Karuka Village, the Bindaki Mountain
mass grave site contains a
total of nineteen (19) bodies; the Kender Mountain
mass grave site contains
at least thirteen (13) bodies.
The bodies from both locations reportedly belong to
PKK guerilla fighters from
the Kurdish movement. Eyewitnesses state that among
the remains are two
classic trademarks of the PKK guerilla's, the first
is a special type of shoe
called “Mekap”, the second is a long cloth sash
wrapped around the waist
for back support called “ªûtik”; both are worn in
accompanyment to the
classic Kurdish military uniform.
Villagers verify that the human remains shown in
these photographs are over ten
(10) years old. Due to fear of persecution by
the Turkish government – and related
elements such as the infamous “village
guards” – none of the villagers felt safe
enough to take appropriate action to allow
for proper burial.
These statements are further confirmed by press
release accounts from the
time declaring that thirteen (13) members of the
Kurdish guerilla forces lost
their lives in the area pending a military
operation in 1994. Among those
listed for having lost their lives are: the
commander of the Manga region
code-named “Lokman”, and Aytekin Sezgin born
in 1973 and originally from
the Batman-Kozluk vicinity.
According to three locals from a nearby village,
whom for their own safety did
not want to release their names, the nineteen
(19) PKK guerilla's were
captured live and then sprayed with machinegun fire
after having their hand
tied behind their backs by Turkish soldiers.
Shepherds discovered the mass
grave sites in July of that same year while
out grazing their herds.
Civilians also massacred
A sixty year (60) old shepherd claimed that
more than thirty (30) civilians
were also killed by Turkish soldiers in the
aftermath of the military operation;
provided was the following statement:
“It was in the summer months of 1994. Members of the
Turkish military as well
as their assistants in civil attire came to an area
kilometers away from the mass grave sites. Due to
the excessive movement of
the troops we (shepherds) avoided going to the area;
suddenly their was.
DIHA - "Two mass graves were found in
not Kosovo but in Bitlis!":
BITLIS / 23
August 2004 / by Kerim Celik
2 mass graves of Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK)'s
guerrillas were found in Tatvan district of Bitlis.
Uniforms, skulls, and 'Mekap' branded shoes that PKK
guerrillas wear as it is known in the graves that
remained from 1994. It was asserted that while 13
PKK guerrillas' corpses were put into the grave that
was located on slope of Kender Daðý Mountain, 19
guerrillas were burned in the grave that was located
on Bindaki Mountain where 30 civilians' corpses were
left in 1994 according to a villager's claim.
The witness said he went to 'massacre' area 2
years before and human bones were still there.
Like Bosnia, Kosovo and Iraq that had repercussions,
two mass graves were found in Bitlis as a receipt of
15 year-combats. In mass grave that is located on
Kender mountain of Karuka village 2 corpses were
burned by a herdsman encircling by stones and rocks
and for this reason it can be easily noticed among
the other corpses. The mass grave that one can
arrive after a 3 hour- walk from Karuka village was
closed with stones and rocks. Settling down on the
region where some corpses were scattered by means of
melting snow is prohibited by soldiers.
A Claim; 'They were executed binding their hand'
The second mass grave is located on the peak of
Bindaki Mountain. According to the claim, 19
guerrillas were burned to these mass graves after
the combat that started in 1994 and continued 3
days. It was asserted that there are 'þutik' belt
that guerrillas wear, guerrilla clothes and bones in
this mass grave and that bandoliers were used in
executions to bind guerrillas' hands.
While detailed information about the mass graves
could not be got, 3 villagers who did not want to
give their names due to security problem said:
"Many soldiers and guerillas were killed in 1994
operations on Bindaki, Kender Mountain and the area
Ware Mahmut of Komik Field. More than 13 guerillas
that were caught dead on Karez Mountaina were burned
in hollows by soldiers and guards. Moreover, in
June, a group of herdsmen saw and told us that at
least19 guerillas were executed with automatic
weapons by soldiers and guards and then they were
burned in hollows."
Villagers said human bones were there for more than
10 years but nobody had brave enough to deal with
'Civilians were slain as a whole'
A 60 years old herdsman asserted that in the same
period, nearly 30 civilians were slain as a whole,
in the plain of the area Ware Mahmut that located in
Komik Field. Elder man talked as follows:
"Uniformed people and civilians come to the area
Ware Mahmut in Komik Field that is 10 or 15 km far
away from mass grave in 1994 summer. This summer
because of the armed conflict in region, we could
not go to upland, but we heard gun sounds after
awhile. After along time when armed conflict settled
down, I went to pasture my sheep to there. I saw
nearly 30 civilians bodies. The bodies were
concealed with sticks and twigs. Then I leaved
there. 2 years ago I went there again the bones of
people still were there."
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