New camera footage from Batman (Êlih), a Kurdish-majority province in Turkey’s south-east, has led to a heated debate about the Turkish security forces’ approach to Kurdish citizens. In the footage, an armoured vehicle is seen chasing a civilian which some commentators have described as a child.
It has been alleged that an armoured vehicle belonging to the Turkish Police Department in Batman tried to run over a citizen. Controversial footage filmed in the Bağlar neighbourhood shows a person running away from the armoured vehicle whilst the vehicle kept chasing him. Peoples’ Democratic Party’s (HDP’s) Batman Bureau claimed that the person being chased was “a child”.
“It is clearly seen in the footage that an armoured vehicle belonging to the Police Department in Batman’s Bağlar neighbourhood chased a child and tried to run over the child today, as clearly seen in the video. We call on the authorities to do their duty”, said HDP’s Batman Bureau on Sunday in a post on Twitter.
Turkish authorities released no official statement regarding the incident.
Armoured vehicles used by the Turkish security forces in the East and Southeast of the country have been criticised for years about the controversial ‘traffic accidents’ they have been involved in.
Six-year-old Efe Tektekin from Turkey’s southeastern Diyarbakır (Amed) province lost his life after an armoured vehicle belonging to the Turkish police hit him on 11 September 2019. Efe’s 85-year-old grandfather, Mehmet Tektekin, had also lost his life on 6 June, 2018, in the same area, after being hit by a TOMA, an armoured water cannon.
There have been other controversial incidents, including one where the six and seven-year-old brothers Muhammed Yıldırım and Furkan Yıldırım were killed on 3 May 2017 after an armoured vehicle crushed the wall of their house in Silopi in Turkey’s southeastern province of Şırnak (Şırnex).