Three People’s Defence Units (HPG) fighters were killed in an airstrike by Turkish jets on Şırnak’s (Şırnex) Gabar Mountain on July 30, 2020.
One of them was Seyithan Acay. 467 days has passed but Acay’s remains has still not been given to his family.
The government claimed Acay’s remains were buried in the cemetery of the unknown in Şırnak’s Bahçelievler neighborhood after his death was announced in a statement by the Turkish Ministry of Interior yet the family do not know anything, where he is buried, whether it is actually the remains are their son or not and even if it is, they want to bury their son themselves in a grave of their own choosing in their own family’s village. Still, to this day, Acay’s remains have not been given to his family, claiming that the DNA results were not clear.
But the truth was revealed after an attorney’s investigations. The DNA results were clear after blood samples given by the family and the positive results of the Forensic Medicine Institute (ATK) were sent to Şırnak Prosecutor’s Office in February 2021.
The ATK did not inform the lawyers about the results of the DNA positive match so then lawyers for the Acay family reapplied to the Prosecutor’s Office but still received no response.
Mother Rukiye Acay, who has been fighting to receive her son’s remains for more than 15 months, informed MA that she went to Şırnak three times but the only answers she got was either that the prosecutor is on vacation or the prosecutor has changed.
“I will keep dressing in black until they will give us my son’s remains,” she says with sorrow. Her only demand is to bury her son in a cemetery in their village.
“I want him to have a tombstone, we are Muslims and we are in the way of Allah, we are reading the Quran. They’re tearing our hearts out. What kind of humanity is that?” she asks.
“If he had even only a finger left, I’d take it and bring it here. You asked for DNA testing. DNA results are clear. You killed him, why don’t you give him to us? We want to take his remains for our funeral and bury him.”
Meanwhile Erdal Kuzu, a attorney from the Human Rights Organisation (IHD), stated that they had learned about the ATK report that was released in February 2021 and sent to the prosecutor’s office.
“After that, lawyers applied for the body to be handed over but received no response.”
He stated that the prosecutor’s office should respond to the official request made by the family.
“The prosecutor has committed the crime of negligence,” he said, adding, “The family has the right to receive the body. They have the right to bury this body according to their own beliefs. International and national laws are clear. The prosecution’s position is contrary to these contracts and the law.”