Bereaved families are still awaiting the return of loved ones’ remains after they were buried in plastic boxes under concrete sidewalks in Kilyos Cemetery.
On 19 December 2017, authorities demolished Garzan Cemetery in the Bedlîs Oleka Jor neighbourhood in the eastern province of Kurdish-majority populated Bitlis in Turkey. They removed 282 bodies without informing bereaved families. The bodies were taken to İstanbul and remained in İstanbul’s Council of Forensic Medicine for months. Eventually 261 of the 282 bodies were buried in plastic boxes under concrete sidewalks in Kilyos Cemetery.
After two years, the remains of Ulaş Çelik, a member of the Peoples’ Defence Forces (HPG), have still not been returned to his family.
The Association of Help and Solidarity with Families who have lost their Relatives (MEBYA-DER) made a statement in Yeniköy Cemetery in the Bağlar district of Diyarbakır (Amed). Çelik’s mother, Nazmiye Kaya, pleaded with authorities to “Give us the bones of our children”.