Missing People: Kurdish Graves in Turkey

The bones of at least 12 people, mostly civilians, are discovered in a mass grave in Kurdistan, during an investigation into the fate of Kurds missing since the 1990s. More than 30 mass graves have been discovered so far, according to human rights organizations.

Nine young people had left their families in 1999 to join the ranks of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the region of Bitlis, but these young unarmed people, killed by the Turkish army, were found 10 years later in a garbage dump, an atrocity denied by the authorities so far.

The graves of hundreds of missing people in Bitlis are waiting to be unearthed, the Human Rights Association (İHD) has claimed.

Relatives of the missing people are aware of the graves’ locations and more will be opened soon, according Bitlis İHD branch head Hasan Ceylan.

“We, as human rights defenders, have made research everywhere in our districts and villages,” said Ceylan in detailing the source for their claim that there are 350 to 400 more graves in the provinces.

Ceylan said three more locations would soon be excavated as the necessary applications have already been filed with the Bitlis Public Prosecutor’s Office.

He also said they were in constant contact with their lawyers at the İHD’s Diyarbakır branch and that they were preparing murder cases for the people’s remains.

Kurdish Info – January 6, 2010



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