The remains of Kurdish political activist Mehmet Zeki Çelebi who was assassinated in Sulaymaniyah, Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI), arrived in Turkey’s Kurdish-majority province of Şırnak (Sirnex) for an autopsy on Monday. The remains are to be taken to Çelebi’s hometown Van (Wan) for burial.
Çelebi was targeted on 17 May by two gunmen on a motorcycle in front of the restaurant he owned, allegedly in an assassination hit organised jointly by the Turkish National Intelligence Agency (MIT) and the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP).
Çelebi was gravely wounded and taken to hospital for treatment, where he died in hospital the next day.
He had fled from his hometown in Van to Iraqi Kurdistan in 2010 to avoid persecution and incarceration.
Journalist Fehim Işık voiced claims on Twitter that the assassins fled to KRI’s capital Erbil (Hewlêr) after the attack.
“It looks like Hewlêr is a safe haven for murderers. This brings along comments that the Hewlêr administration is a partner in such assassinations. It’s a duty to remind the Hewlêr administration of its responsibilities. They won’t be free of accusations as long as the murderers are still at large.”
Another Kurdish political activist from Turkey, Yasin Bulut, was assassinated in a similar attack in Sulaymaniyah on 17 September 2021. In a statement by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), MIT was blamed for the attack.