"The cause-result relationship has turned upside down in Hakkari," said Bilgen. "The incidents at the demonstrations and funerals, and the police's violent intervention are almost being used to cover up the Semdinli bombing."
"Although legally lifted, the state of emergency has been continuing in Hakkari without any interruptions," said Magden. "They are fiddling with people's nerve buttons. The sovereignty of the state official is unbelievable."
On 9 November 2005 at 12.15 pm in the town of Semdinli, in Hakkari province, southeast Turkey, a bookshop (Umut Kitabevi) was bombed, killing one man and injuring others.
The owner of the bookshop and others managed to apprehend the suspected bomber and two other men after the former had got into a car nearby where the two other men were allegedly waiting for him.
In the car were discovered weapons, lists of names of political oppositionists, information about individuals in Semdinli, maps and other documents. The bookshop owner's name allegedly appeared in one list and a plan of his home and workplace were found among other such plans.
After the apprehension of the three by the crowd, it was revealed that two men were members of the security services, with identity cards indicating that they were plainclothed gendarmerie intelligence officers (JİT).
The alleged bomber was subsequently revealed in the press to be a PKK informant (there has been no official denial of this). The three men were escorted away from the scene by police and the alleged bomber detained in relation to the bombing and murder.
Subsequently, as the prosecutor carried out a scene-of-crime investigation, the assembled crowd was fired upon from a car, resulting in the death of one civilian and injury of others. The prosecutor's crime-scene investigation was postponed. A gendarmerie special sergeant has been detained on charges of disproportionate use of force resulting in death.
The Turkish Prime Minister, Justice Minister and Interior Minister have expressed strong determination to uncover all dimensions of this incident and to expend every effort in bringing the perpetrators to justice, with Justice Minister Cicek characterizing the current period in Turkey as being "a period in which incidents do not remain in the dark".
Selek emphasized that the people in Hakkari have no faith in the administration or justice. "There is an unbelievable mistrust," said Selek. "They say 'we don't have faith in the legal process. They want a civilian commission to follow the legal process. They don't want the Semdinli incident to be covered up like Susurluk."
Magden: They are imprisoned in their own territory
"People in Hakkari are very tense because they are scared," said Magden. "When I tell them that they are in a way imprisoned in their own territory, they tell me, 'At least, when you are in prison, you go to sleep at night. We can't sleep. We can't go out in the streets.'" Magden summarizes her observations as follows:
* The state of emergency is legally lifted but continuous searches are being conducted. You have to show your identity card at every point. They register the identity cards to computers.
* They keep extending the permissions for conducting general searches.
* People told me their houses are continuously searched. According to what they say, first masked policemen come and make a mess in the house. Then unmasked police arrive.
* They say that armored tanks have been going out in the streets after midnight for months now. They say military anthems are being played.
Selek: Fear and sense of citizenship goes together
Selek said they met with state officials, witnesses, tradespeople, relatives of the victims. "There is a serious sense of citizenship in Hakkari," said Selek. "People saw the plans of their houses in the documents found in the official vehicle involved in the Semdinli bombing. They saw their names on the list."
"We had a very fruitful meeting with the Hakkari Democracy Platform," she said. The Republican People's Party (CHP) and the Justice and Development Party (AKP) are in that platform. They work together. The AKP provincial head, for example, was beaten by the police."
Bilgen: Hakkari is a bomb ready to explode
Bilgen stated that the incident should be solved no matter where it will lead. "If the incident is covered up, there will be a serious loss of trust."
"Bulletins are being distributed in the city almost since the end of August. These bulletins state that the revenge of the killed soldiers will be taken. 'The revenge of the martyrs will be taken, their blood will not remain on the floor,' they say." (TK/EA/YE)
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