A relative of the Dedeoğulları family, seven members of which were killed in a mass murder on 30 July in Konya, protested against a mainstream Turkish media outlet that selectively picked only parts of what he had said in an interview, omitting “75 percent” to support the official Turkish government line on what had occurred.
While the family members had stated that after a previous attack on 12 May they were insulted by the assailants for being Kurdish, it was ignored both in the legal case file and by government officials who stated that the attack was the result of an ordinary feud between the families.
This was repeated by the Turkish interior minister after the murder occurred on 30 July, although the suspect was the brother of one of the assailants in the previous attack and there was an obvious link between the two attacks.
The official opinion on the mass murder was that it was the outcome of a family feud and not a hate crime, has been supported on the state media with accusations against those who reported the massacre as a racist act against the Kurds.
The former chairman of the Turkish government’s official state news agency (Anadolu Agency), Kemal Öztürk, working for the news channel and website Habertürk, himself interviewed a relative of the Dedeoğulları family Erol Şan after the murders but only a few selected parts of it were actually broadcast.
Şan, the cousin of Yaşar Dedeoğulları who was one of those killed in the mass murder, responded to Öztürk, saying the interview was distorted and misrepresented what he had said, reports JinNews.
“It upset me that he didn’t broadcast the whole interview,” he said. “It would be to everyone’s benefit if they had; but thanks to Kemal Öztürk, nobody has benefited. All the world knows and Turkey knows it, it was a Kurdish family that was massacred. There was a conflict since 12 May. My cousin Yaşar constantly received threats. ‘We’ll kill you if you don’t leave here’ they said.”
In a separate interview by Habertürk with Kemal Öztürk, he actually does admit that the family members were ‘cursed for being Kurdish’.
He is recorded in the seperate interview as saying:
“The family told me that there actually was a feud between the sides. They said, ‘They used racist terms against us, they cursed us for being Kurdish, but we still don’t think this is a Kurdish-Turkish conflict…’ Now, this is how they saw the situation, and still, the People’s Democratic Party claims that they were murdered because of their Kurdish identity. This disturbs me.”
Şan concluded saying: ”It isn’t right to omit 75 percent of an interview and broadcast only 25 percent of it. If someone stands up in the parliament and says we are ‘terrorists’, if someone says Erol Şan, a Kurd, a supporter of the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) is a terrorist, such murders will continue to occur.”