Five Kurdish people who were killed in an armed attack in Turkey’s southeastern province of Mardin (Mêrdîn) on 19 January were “members of the Rêkanî tribe and patriotic people from a region that is constantly under attack by the Turkish state,” the People’s Defence Forces (HPG), armed wing of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) said in a statement on Sunday.
Since Turkey was already targeting this Kurdish tribe, the HPG said, Thursday’s fatal armed attack against the five victims in the car that had entered Turkey from Duhok city in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI), appeared “sinister”.
The statement follows:
“It is striking that the state is scrambling to portray this incident as a criminal act, while at the same time, the public prosecutor’s office has imposed a secrecy order. This increases the likelihood that the brutal massacre is a planned counter-attack as part of the intimidation plan against Kurds. As the People’s Defence Forces, we will continue to pursue the case and demand accountability.”
After the Turkish authorities had detained four people allegedly related to the incident, Mardin’s State Prosecutor Ekrem Yıldız stated that the motive of the killings was robbery, but the fact that no valuables had been taken from the vehicle and that the suitcases of the victims had remained untouched after the attack raised suspicions that the purpose of the attack could be otherwise.
Mezopotamya Agency on Saturday reported contradictions in the statements of the main suspects of the fatal crime.
Only one of the suspects in police custody said that they carried out the attack with the aim of robbery, but he said that they only took a small bag and a dress from the vehicle and that there was no money in the bag. Another suspect, who allegedly pulled the trigger, denied any involvement.
Mardin’s Bar Association announced on Saturday that a restricted access order had been placed on the file.