Armed men stopped a vehicle coming from Duhok city of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) in Turkey’s southeastern province of Mardin (Mêrdîn) on 19 January and executed five Kurdish people from two different families who were in the vehicle.
Turkish authorities initially detained six people related to the incident, identified by security cameras. Two of them were released after police took their statements.
Hours after the incident, the Prime Minister of the KRI, Masrour Barzani, denounced the attack and called on Turkey to reveal the real motives behind it and bring the perpetrators to justice.
Mardin Public Prosecutor Ekrem Yıldız stated that the motive of the attack was robbery, but the fact that valuables were not taken from the vehicle after the attack and that the suitcases of the victims remained untouched raises suspicions that the attack’s purpose might be different.
Only one of the suspects in police custody admitted that they carried out the attack. However, the suspect who allegedly pulled the trigger denied any involvement according to the statements reported by Mezopotamya Agency (MA).
The owner of the vehicle used in the attack said that he rented his car to some people he did not know.
MA also reports contradictions in the statements of the fatal crime’s main suspects.
The only suspect in custody who has confessed said that they committed the crime for the purpose of robbery, but they only took a small bag and a dress from the vehicle and there was no money in the bag.
It was revealed that one of the other suspects, who did not accept the accusations, worked at a housing estate in the city of Duhok, where the murdered family lived.
The funerals of the victims were held in Duhok on Friday.
Ahmed al-Sahaf, spokesman for Iraq’s foreign ministry, said the Iraqi embassy in Ankara and the general consulate in Gaziantep were following up on the case.
The Kurdish-majority regions of Turkey have witnessed a history of attacks against Kurds, and the victims’ car’s Duhok registration plate raises suspicion of a systematically targeted attack.
Mardin Bar Association stated on Saturday that they had been following the investigation since the beginning and announced that the file had been restricted.