The body of Mercan Erkol (Berîtan Tolhildan), a fighter of the The People’s Defense Forces (HPG) who lost her life in an air assault in October 16, 2017 in the Kulp (Pasur) district of Diyarbakır (Amed), has still not been delivered to her family for three years despite the sample of her DNA matching with her family, Mesopotamia News Agency reports.The Association of Help and Solidarity with Families who have lost their Relatives (MEBYA-DER) issued a press statement in the Yeniköy Asir Cemetery to demand the body of Mercan Erkol to be delivered to her family.
“The families demand to have the bodies of their loved ones, even if only one piece of the body remained,” said Şeyhmus Karadağ, the co-Chair of the association.
Karadağ noted that the family of Erkol came Diyarbakır (Amed) to get the body of their daughter after they had heard about her death, they also applied to the prosecutor’s office in Diyarbakır and samples of DNA were collected from the father’s blood.
Three bodies in a grave
When the Diyarbakır Gendarmerie Commander called the family for them to come and get their child’s body in July 2019, Hesin Erkol, the father of the family, who went to the Yeniköy Cemetery, found three bodies buried in the same grave, all disjointed.
Karadağ informed that when there are more than one bodies in a grave, the prosecutor would not let the families to have the bodies buried there and so the Erkol family were not able to have the body of their child.
Despite a year that has past the previous statement of the prosecutor’s office that the bodies would be separated and handed over to the families, the body of Erkol has still not yet been delivered to the family.
Not having the body of your loved ones turns into torture
Noting that the process of not having the body of their ones has turned into a process of torture for the families, Karadağ said, “This is a systematical torture for the family. Having their loved ones buried according to the appropriate funeral rites is the most natural human right. For over three years, basic humanitarian values have been disregarded. We live in such a society that do not find it appropriate to wait for a day to bury body, yet the family waits for three years to have the body of their child so they can bury her.”