The massacre of seven members of a Kurdish family in Konya’s Meram district is being portrayed by officials in Turkey as the outcome of a feud between the two families. The Ministry of Interior said publicly that the murder had nothing to do with the Turkish-Kurdish conflict.
However, previous testimonies of the murdered Dedeoğulları family reveal that the family had been harrassed and bullied for years in Konya by reason of their Kurdishness.
Jin News interviewed Seher Yakut, the sister of the victim İpek Dedeoğulları. During the interview Yakut repeatedly says that the family was frequently attacked for being Kurdish, and reacts against statements from officials that the murder was not committed because of racism.
Seher Yakut was in Ağrı when she heard about the incident. She says that the family offered the attacker tea, but that he responded with gunfire.
“The murderer comes and enters the house. Yaşar says, “Sit down and I’ll get you a cup of tea.” As soon as he brings the tea, the attacker pulls out his gun and shoots Yaşar several times. Then he shoots Metin, then Serap, Bariş …”
Yakut can barely speak to the reporter when she thinks of her sister. She stresses that her sister had told her previously that they were being threatened.
“My sister told me about it on the phone. They said they didn’t like Kurds. They didn’t like my sister and her family because they were Kurdish.”
Yakut is angry that the officials are denying the racist motivations of the perpetrator.
“They were saying, ‘We don’t like Kurds.’ I am 58 years old, and I have never seen the like before.” she continues: “They murdered them because they don’t like Kurds. We are Kurdish, our roots are Kurdish. We are on our feet thanks to Kurds. How would we live if Kurds did not exist?”
Another family member, Sadriye Güven agrees with her.
“The family was murdered for being Kurdish. They want everyone to be Turkish, and no-one to speak Kurdish. The murderer said himself, ‘I will slaughter the Kurds, I will force them to leave.’ Why are they [the officials] lying?”
She states that although the police knew about the threats against the family, they did not protect them.
“The police are on their [the attackers’] side. The family went to the police and said, ‘They are threatening us, they will murder us,’ but the police did not come. And see? They have laid out seven bodies side by side.”
Meanwhile, Abdurrahman Karabulut, the Dedeoğulları family lawyer, said that the family that had attacked the Dedeoğulları family on 12 May had planned the massacre in a WhatsApp group.
Ten people were arrested yesterday (3 August), including the wife, mother, father and brother of Mehmet Altun, the suspected murderer of the Dedeogulleri family, and new information is coming to light about the massacre.
Karabulut, who had previously stated that the attack was planned and organised, said on Twitter, “It turned out that the perpetrator of the massacre was not alone, and after the attack on the Dedeoğulları family on May 12, the attackers set up a WhatsApp group and planned and arranged the massacre.”
Katliamı yapan'ın yalnız olmadığı, 12 mayısta Dedeogulları ailesine yapılan saldırıdan sonra saldırgan ailenin whatsap grubu kurarak organizeli bir sekilde tasarlayarak katliamı yaptıkları ortaya çıktı.
— Abdurrahman Karabulut (@avkrblt) August 4, 2021