Turkey accused of kidnapping Kurdish bodies and dumping in mass unmarked graves

Turkey has been accused of kidnapping the bodies of Kurdish resistance fighters today as part of its systematic intimidation and oppression of the country’s sizeable minority community.

“They are stealing our right to a dignified funeral and prolonging our mourning,” spokesman for the families Seyhmus Karadag told the Morning Star.

“Some families wait for the bones of their children for years to have a grave to visit. Their aim is to frustrate and intimidate us. They want us to abandon our children,” he said.

Karadag was speaking after reports earlier this week that the bodies of Kurdish fighters were being dumped in mass unmarked graves in Turkey’s south-eastern Sirnak province.

Witnesses told the Mesopotamia Agency that Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) fighters killed by Turkish soldiers in Iraqi Kurdistan were being taken across the border and left in the morgue for days.

Families appealing for information and the release of their dead loved ones so they can hold a funeral are being ignored, with their bodies being taken in armored vehicles and buried under a pile of mud.

The number of graves has increased from 32 to 69 in the last two months, eyewitnesses reported, as Turkey’s illegal invasion and bombing of Iraqi Kurdistan continues.

“Turkey thinks of every Kurdish individual as an enemy, therefore it attacks our most valuable assets,” Karadag said.

“Arranging a funeral is your last duty to your most sacred and precious loved ones. We see the same hostility to our cemeteries and gravestones even if we manage to bury our dead,” he added, referring to a spate of attacks on Kurdish burial places.

He said the kidnapping of the bodies was “an attack against the memory and social consciousness of the Kurdish society.”

But, he said, Turkey continues its atrocities as it is emboldened by the silence of the international community which continues economic, military and diplomatic relations with those in power while ignoring the “anti-democratic practices” forced on the Kurdish community.

“Turkey uses this silence as an opportunity to oppress us more to the point of attacking our funerals.

“Burying your loved ones is a common value of all humanity. Attacking the dead is an attempt to intimidate the Kurds both psychologically and sociologically.

“The reason Turkey can do this very easily is because of the silence of Europe,” Karadag said.

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