Soldiers and village guards raked Kurdish villagers with gunfire, who were protesting against a marble quarry intended to be built on their village located in the Gürpınar district of Turkey’s eastern province of Van (Wan), MA reported.
Residents of Yurtbaşı (Şêxan) village have been protesting against the marble quarry to be built in their village. Despite the protests of the locals, the contractor company officials, accompanied by soldiers and village guards, entered the village with construction machines on the evening of 26th May.
It was reported that a total of 40 barns belonging to villagers were demolished in the area where the marble quarry will be constructed.
As the villagers reacted to the destruction, soldiers and guards watched and guarded the construction machinery. Stating that they will not allow a marble quarry in their village, the people started a march but were faced with violence.
Soldiers and village guards raked the villagers with gunfire to disperse their march. Four villagers were detained.
The villagers explained in simple terms why they do not want a marble quarry in their village. “If the marble quarry is opened, we can no longer live here. They told us that ‘this place is a treasure and the quarry will be built’. We will never allow this, this is our land too,” they said.
A villager shared details of the violence he was subjected to: “They have come and destroyed (our barns). A ranking soldier tried to tie my hands and handcuffed me. Then they forcedly pushed me into the panzer. I have been held in the panzer for four hours. Then my wife came and cried out, ‘What have you done to my husband?’ she asked. They told her I was in the panzer. They had to release me due to the pressure of my wife and the villagers,”
He added: “My hands were swallowed due to the handcuffs. They could not easily take them of. We used to earn our bread from our barn. We are 15 people in this family. The state came and hit us. They have destroyed our village and left.”