Thousands Commemorate in Roboski, Demand for Justice

BIANET 18.12.2012 – Thousands of demonstrators assembled in Roboski village this morning, commemorating the death of 34 civilians after a Turkish military air strike exactly last year.

Today marked as the anniversary of Roboski Massacre, killing of 34 Kurdish civilians from Roboski and Bujeh villages–which are officially recongnized as Ortasu and Gülyazı respectively–after a Turkish military air strike days only three before 2012. Turkish state officials claim that killings were caused due to false intelligence reports provided by U.S. Army, an argument that created controversy in Turkey.

Turkish police tightened security on Riboski entrance, controlling human circulation in and out of the village with barricades. Last night several vehicles heading to Sirnak province has been halted by the police for vehicle license checks. Many individuals said they were IDed by the police in downtown Sirnak.Several delegations arrived at Roboski this morning including Peace and Democracy Party co-chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Gültan Kışanak, Democratic Society Party co-chairs Ahmet Türk and Aysel Tuğluk, deputies from Peace and Democracy Party, MAZLUMDER Association, Dersim Associations’ Federation, Peace Parliament.Democratic Congress of Peoples also attended the ceremony with Sebahat Tuncel, Ertuğrul Kürkçü, Nursel Aydoğan, Rıdvan Turan, Garo Paylan, Ferhat Tunç and Gençay Gürsoy. Delegations were received by family members who lost their beloved ones in Roboski killings.

According to Firat News Agency, the ceremony began at 10 am.

“Those who suffered took fronts for freedom struggle. Kurdish people are the source of stability and instability, in Turkey and in the Middle East. If Kurds are emancipated, the region will do so too. Kurdish people will always respond the policies based on assimilation and denial,” Ahmet Türk, co-chair of Democratic Society Party, said.

Peace and Democracy Party co-chair Demirtaş claimed that the air strike order that killed 34 civilians was made by PM Erdogan. “The Turkish Army is aware of this order.”Demirtaş said PM Erdogan was given a report saying that a high rank PKK officer was among 34 civilians. “But the report said the rest of the people were civilians.”

Demirtaş complaint that PM Erdogan might never be held accountable for the air strike order in a foreseeable future. “No Turkish prosecutor will take this to court. Why? Because whoever died in that massacre were not Turks. Kurds were killed there. You can’t order an air strike in western part of Turkey. Do you do this because there is no Kurdistan? Kurds should have their Kurdistan. No matter independent, federal or autonomous. If there is a Kurdistan, then a justice for Roboski can be found.” Following the speeches, many demonstrators including Diyarbakir province mayor Osman Baydemir headed to the village mosque for Juma prayer.

In several south-eastern Kurdish districts–Derik, Nusaybin, Kızıltepe, Silvan, Bismil, Malazgirt, Şırnak, Cizre, Silopi, İdil, Uludere and Beytüşşebap–local businesses took down their shutters to commemorate the killings. (AS)