A horrendous racist murder of a Kurdish family of 7 has taken place in Konya, Turkey which has shaken the whole country.
The Dedeoglu family who had also been victims of an earlier racist attack in Konya on the 12th May 2021 as reported by Medya News were all killed at their home on Friday afternoon, 30th July 2021.
It is reported by Arti Gercek that the family were all killed by gunfire and that there was then an attempt to set fire to their house but that the fire was extinguished.
The names of the family members, 4 women and 3 men are as follows:
Yaşar Dedeoğlu, Barış Dedeoğlu, Serpil Dedeoğlu, Serap Dedeoğlu, İpek Dedeoğlu, Metin Dedeoğlu, Sibel Dedeoğlu.
The Dedeoglu family had been victims of an earlier racist attack by a mob of 60 people on 12th May 2021 and have been suffering constant racist threats from Turkish racists in their neighbourhood for nearly 15 years.
The attackers on the 12th of May, who were from the same Bahçeşehir neighbourhood as the Dedeoglu family, attacked the family with knives, stones, and sticks, saying, “We are [Turkish] nationalists, we will not let you live here.”
As a result of the attack, family member Metin Dedeoğlu, suffered a cerebral haemorrhage, and other family members were seriously injured.
Interviewed at the time of the first attack in May, Barış Dedeoğlu, now deceased, had said that there had been neighbours in amongst the racist group that attacked them and that they had for many years felt threatened by them being constantly being told, “We don’t want Kurds here.” He said. “The police who came to the scene on the day of the incident basically blamed us,” MA reported at the time.
Abdurrahman Karabulut, lawyer of the Dedeoğlu family told Duvar that when he reached the crime scene he was blocked to conduct further investigations. “I am at the crime scene. The prosecutor, the police are here. But I can not reach any information, I am being blocked from conducting an investigation.”
The identity of the assailants’ remain unknown at the moment, however Karabulut said, “But there are seven people who had previously attacked the family and been arrested. Five of those seven people were released. Those who were released are most likely to have perpetrated the attack.”
The Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Co-Chair and Mardin MP, Mithat Sancar said following of the murders in Konya on Friday evening:
“We, as the HDP, will continue our struggle against such racist attacks. But there is a serious plan aimed at causing chaos here, its aim is to destroy the foundations of a shared life in Turkey. Tomorrow our party delegation and I will be in Konya. We call on the leaders of all opposition parties and democracy forces in Turkey to display the same stance. We expect them all to be in Konya tomorrow.”
Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu issued a statement five hours after the racist murder. Arguing that the attack was a continuum of a disagreement between two families that has been ongoing for 11 years, Soylu clearly denied the racist nature of the years-long dispute between the families.
The Minister also targeted those who reacted to the incident calling it a racist attack. “This has nothing to do with the Turkish-Kurdish issue,” he said, accusing the people who shared tweets with a critical perspective of anti-racism of “fueling efforts to play” [the people and the country] “off against each other”.
Urfa Bar Association also shared a statement on Twitter alongside text of the 22nd July statement of 15 bar associations in eastern and southeastern Turkey condemning the racist attacks targeting the Kurds throughout the country.
“We wish we were wrong, we wish we turned out to be wrong. As those who know the impunity policy towards the attacks, we have demanded an effective investigation before anything else,” Urfa Bar stated. “Even though we were targeted just because of that,” said Urfa Bar, reminding about the smear campaign by Turkey’s pro-governmental daily Yeni Safak which on 23rd July described the joint statement of the 15 bar associations as “ethnic provacation”, adding that “the impunity policy should be given up before more lives are lost, before more murders are committed.”
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Deputy Chair Özgür Özel said in a written statement he shared on Twitter regarding the massacre, “7 members of the Dedeoğlu family, who were attacked 2.5 months ago, were brutally murdered. The possibility that the attack was committed with racist motives requires us to scrutinise the issue meticulously.”
Baris Dedeoğlu who was killed in the racist attack spoke to the Kurdish news agency, Mesopotamia Agency on the 12 July 2021 and said in the relation to the attacks they were suffering. “The attacks continue. We have given up hope on the law, there is no justice for the Kurds,”