Turkey’s Defence Minister Hulusi Akar responded to Republican Peoples’ Party (CHP) deputy Sezgin Tanrıkulu’s parliamentary question regarding the incident in which villagers Osman Şiban and Servet Turgut were reportedly thrown from a military helicopter in the Çatak (Şax) district of Van (Wan) city in Turkey on 11 September and reportedly subjected to violent assaults by soldiers. Akar said: “There is no information, document or record regarding that case”.
CHP deputy Tanrıkulu shared Akar’s response on his social media account, and said: “I asked about the fatal incident which occurred in Çatak in Van. Two villagers had been detained. One citizen seriously got injured, another lost his life. I told the Defence minister that the helicopter allegedly used in the incident is under the responsibility of the Ministry. Minister Hulusi Akar has responded with this single sentence: ‘There is no information, document or record regarding that case’”.
Reacting to Akar’s single-sentence response, Tanrıkulu said: “It is as if an operation was not carried out there, as if the helicopter did not belong to the republic. Just one sentence. It is as if hundreds of soldiers did not reportedly join in a lynching attempt. The National Defence Minister Akar’s sentence indicated the governments view on human rights”.
Stating that no clarification was provided by the Defence Minister as to whether an investigation had been launched into the incident or not, Tanrıkulu said: “Who was the person who died? A Kurdish 60 year old citizen. Akar could not even say ‘We launched an investigation into this incident’. Why? Because the person who died is a Kurdish citizen”.
On 11 September 2020, two villagers Osman Şiban (50) and Servet Turgut (55) were taken into custody in the Çatak (Şax) district of Van (Wan) in Turkey after a military operation. Two days after being detained, news spread that Şiban and Turgut were in hospital. They had been tortured.
Servet Turgut lost his life on 30 September. It was revealed that both villagers had reportedly been thrown from a military helicopter on 11 September. Hospital records and eyewitness statements confirmed that the incidents took place. After that, regarding the incident, four journalists who investigated and reported upon these incidents were detained on 6 October. In addition to this, independent deputy Ahmet Şık prepared a report about the incident and revealed that hundreds of soldiers had attempted to lynch Şiban and Turgut in a military outpost.