A on 14 December 2015 a curfew was announced in the Cizre district of Şırnak that lasted 79 days, during which time 177 people were burnt and murdered in the cellars which became known among the people as the “cellars of horror”.
Dozens of apartments, school buildings, and parks were destroyed in attacks by the Turkish army. No one has been charged so far but the buildings where people sought shelter have been demolished and replaced to erase traces of the massacre.
One of those who lost their lives in those buildings was Mehmet Tunç,co-chair of the Cizre People’s Assembly. Tunç’s house was also raided and his possessions seized during the curfew. Güler Tunç, the wife of Mehmet’s brother Orhan, also killed, has said in a post on social media that Mehmet’s possessions have been returned to his family, six years after he was killed.
6 Yıl sonra Mehmet Tunç'a ait bilgisayar ve eşyalar verildi bize..
6 yıldır yaşattığınız acılar yetmiyor mu?yakılmış ve parçalanmış Elbiseleri ailelere göndermek neyin nesidir?
Her zaman olduğu gibi Kürdün acısına hakaret etmekten başka bir şey değil! pic.twitter.com/iK2RFqLe0h
— Güler TUNÇ (@TuncGulerr) February 19, 2022
Güler’s tweet was as follows: “Six years later Mehmet Tunç’s computer and other possessions have been returned to us… Is the pain you have subjected us to over the last six years not enough? What is the point of sending burnt and torn clothes to the families? None, other than to add insult to injury for the Kurds, as ever!”
Jinnews interviewed the mother of Mehmet Tunç, who says “Sending us his possessions after all these years is twisting a knife in the wound.”
“These are my Mehmet’s things. Six years ago, they burned and slaughtered my Mehmet and his brother Orhan, and many others. All these years, they’ve refused to give us my Mehmet’s things, always making excuses. But now they’ve twisted the knife by sending us these things after all these years. They set all our things alight and burned them. We didn’t even find the ashes in the house.”
She noted that she has been prosecuted for statements she made regarding her son’s death.
“Three months ago, they sent me a paper again saying that my Mehmet owed them 50 billion. They summoned me to court last year. I had said, ‘Mehmet is not only my son, but also the son of Kurdistan, the martyr of all Kurdistan’ They prosecuted me for these words.”
During the curfews, Mehmet Tunç was talking to press from the basements and explained what he was going through over live telephone calls. During one such call he said:
“We are waiting for death now. When this building collapses humanity itself will remain in this cellar. However they will account for this in history tomorrow or the next day, let them do so… They’re firing mortars at this house. I can hear a few voices from the cellar. I am on the second floor, waiting for death. Tell everyone there are five dead here, fallen as martyrs, and 24 wounded. If we die, it will have been an execution… Volunteer health workers need to come to Cizre and examine the wounded and the dead bodies in these cellars of horror. At this point, none of these bodies should be buried without being examined. No bodies should be buried in Cizre from now on so this can happen. Let them do what they will.”
He also said, “I have no doubt that this will go down in history as a disgrace to all Turkey, to all humanity, to the United Nations. There are about 37 of us here just now.”
In his last telephone calls Tunç said, “No-one should expect us to surrender. We will stand shoulder to shoulder and resist just as we did on the first day, and if necessary we will fall as martyrs. We have resisted, we have not gone down on our knees, be proud of us.”