The funeral of Kurdish construction worker Özkan Tokay, who has lost his life due to a gun assault in Afyon, took place yesterday in the Erciş district of the city of Van (Wan) in Turkey.
Only Tokay’s relatives were allowed to be present at his funeral which took place in the family cemetery located in Çelebibağ neighbourhood and friends and colleagues who attempted to attend the funeral were blocked by Turkish soldiers.
Apart from Tokay’s family, only Van city governor Mehmet Emin Bilmez was also allowed to attend the funeral.
Journalists and HDP members were blocked
People’s Democratic Party (HDP) deputy Murat Sarısaç and other HDP members were also blocked as they attempted to enter the cemetery. Journalists were also not allowed to watch the funeral on ‘health grounds’ imposed because of ‘Covid-19 outbreak restrictions’.
Sarısaç issued a statement over the incident and said that Tokay was killed due to his Kurdish identity and he added: “Ensuring the national unity of Kurds will save its four parts as well. Then, people will not be killed for only speaking in their Kurdish language”.
Construction workers from Van had been assaulted by a gunman in the Dinar district of Afyon in Turkey on 13 September.
Tokay lost his life in the attack, and two others, Fırat Tokay and Emrah Özsaliç, were injured and hospitalised. Ömer Arslantürk was named as the assailant. It has been claimed that a police officer told the injured workers to “take your dead and get out”. The attacker, Ömer Aslantürk, fled the crime scene.
An investigation has been launched to find Ömer Aslantürk, according to the statement.