A soldier of a Turkish army unit in Iraqi Kurdistan was reportedly shot and killed by his own troops as he was trying to surrender to Kurdish fighters of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), identified after the incident by his personal items as Sezai Güngör, a 28-year-old professional army sergeant born in the Gürpınar district of Turkey’s Kurdish-majority Van province.
While his family has still not been officially informed about the circumstances of his death by state authorities, the father, Sıtkı Güngör said he was told by a military officer he spoke to that they were still investigating the incident.
Speaking to the MA, the father said his son had been serving in various military operations in Syria and Iraq for the past seven years, and was later appointed to Turkey’s western province of Burdur.
“He was recently on sick leave due to the stomach pains and psychological problems he suffered,” he said.
“We spent 20 days together. During this time we went to Van to visit my elder brothers. On 2 September he said he was going back to rejoin the military although he was still not in a good condition. His commander had been constantly calling him. So we let him go.”
Indicating that his son had joined the army following his mother’s demise, Sıtkı Güngör said the deterioration in his son’s health started after he began serving in the army.
“He became very withdrawn and internalised. I felt he was worried about something the last time he came home. I tried very hard to get him to talk but he wouldn’t,” he said, adding that in case the claim that he was shot by his own troops was true, it meant that he was sacrificed.
“I will go to the office of the general staff if necessary, in order to find out what happened to him. I’ll do anything to verify these claims,” he said.