As the government official in Turkey’s southeastern city of Silopi took a position in favour of the police officer who was driving the armoured vehicle that killed 7-year-old Miraç, the father of the boy strongly disputed the claim that the vehicle was progressing slowly, and protested, saying that his son was hurled 11 metres with the impact and that his bicycle was shattered to pieces, reported Mesopotamia News Agency.
“He told me that there was some video footage, and that the vehicle was progressing slowly, Salih Miroğlu said. “If it was indeed going slowly, my son’s slippers wouldn’t be thrown all the way up to the rooftop. He himself was hurled 11 metres. His bicycle is in four pieces… I don’t even know why the vehicle was there. You’re in the midst of civilians. As a matter of fact, it was on his way to the police station. Not that there was any urgency that he had to rush. The station is right in the neighbourhood.”
While the father called for justice saying that the driver of the armoured vehicle must be held accountable for his actions and duly punished in order for similar incidents to be prevented, the officer was released immediately after he made a statement at the prosecutor’s office.
An MP for the main opposition party, Sezgin Tanrıkulu, criticized the lack of reaction after the incident, Mesopotamia News Agency reported.
“There’s no reaction in the public. There’s silence,” he said. “A 7-year-old child has been killed by an armoured vehicle. You can’t call this an ordinary traffic accident.”
Indicating that 37 children have been killed by armoured vehicles, all in Kurdish-majority provinces like Diyarbakır (Amed), Şırnak (Sirnex), Van (Wan), Hakkari (Colemerg) and Mardin (Merdin) according to Human Rights Association data, he criticised the policy of impunity concerning the culprits who were either military or police officers.
“This state of impunity concerning these incidents, I underline, in a certain region, targeting children in that region, leads to different sorts of questions,” Tanrıkulu said. “It’s not ordinary that 37 children have been killed by armoured vehicles in the last 3-4 years. And I’m not even talking about other deaths caused by gun fire.”