Footage of a lawyer who has fought for justice in numerous unsolved murders and rights violations cases in Turkey speaking as a child in a TV report from 1996 was shared on social media on Saturday, after he applied to be a parliamentary candidate for the Green Left Party (YSP) in the 14 May elections.
The court case of the 1993 military operation in the Kurdish-majority district of Lice (Licê) in Diyarbakır (Amed) province, in which at least 15 civilians were killed and numerous houses and other buildings in the district were badly burnt, was initiated 20 years after the event. Yunus Muratakan, who is himself from Lice and a witness to the incident, was one of the lawyers in the case.
Muratakan has now applied to be a parliamentary candidate for the Green Left Party, in whose lists candidates of the the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) will also stand, due to the ongoing closure case against that party
The footage of Muratakan, which resurfaced on social media after his application to the YSP is from a TV report conducted in 1996. The footage was later included in the documentary Hawara Licê (Lice’s Cry) directed by Veysi Polat in 2014.
A child at a time when pressure was brought to bear on Kurdish villagers in the region to become village guards, members of a militia answerable to the state, with those unwilling to do so being harassed and persecuted, Muratakan reveals in the footage that no one from the local community wanted to join the village guards.
“No one wants to… No one in Lice wants to be a village guard. The captain says, ‘We give money for it’. Let us give money to them so that they can be village guards themselves,” Muratakan said to the journalist.