Updated at 16:45 (CET)
The body of Deniz Cevdet Bülbün, who was killed in an armed attack on the office of the Kurdistan National Congress (KNK) in Erbil (Hewlêr) on 18 September, was due to be laid to rest on Friday in his hometown.
Bülbün’s body was handed over to his family on Friday, with plans to bury him in Turkey’s Kurdish-majority southeastern province of Hakkari (Colemerg). The family was joined by a large crowd, including members of the KNK and Turkey’s pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), as they received the body from a hospital in Erbil.
After a short funeral ceremony at the Brussels-based Kurdish umbrella group KNK’s representative office in Erbil, Bülbün’s remains were sent on their way to his hometown, the Yüksekova (Gever) district of Hakkari, where he will be buried.
“Deniz is a martyr of Kurdistan. He was a saint of Kurdistan. They took him away from the heart of Kurdistan,” said Bülbün’s uncle, Necib Bülbün.
Green Left MPs and Peace Mothers went to the border gate to meet the family.
At the border, the family was blocked by Turkish soldiers and Bülbün’s body had to wait for some time before it was taken to a hospital in Şırnak (Şırnex), on the grounds that an autopsy had to be carried out.
The funeral in Hakkari could not take place because Bülbün’s body was still being kept in the hospital in the evening.
Four days have passed since the armed attack on the KNK office in Erbil, but both the Kurdistan Regional Government and officials of the ruling Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) have so far maintained a notable silence on the incident. The perpetrators of the attack remain at large, despite the presence of numerous active security cameras in the area.