Executives of the Human Rights Association (İHD) are investigating the Kazan Valley in the south-eastern province of Hakkari where 24 members of the armed outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) lost their lives in operation of the Turkish Armed Forces. The investigation is being carried out together with the families of the dead PKK members. 19 of their bodies are still in Malatya, five bodies have been handed over.
bianet obtained information on the matter from İHD Hakkari Branch chair İsmail Akbulut who participated in the investigation in the Kazan Valley (Çukurca/Hakkari).
Akbulut said that initially nobody was allowed to enter the region of the clashes for security reasons. However, upon the application of the families they talked to the governor who then contacted the related places. After having received the permission, İHD executives and relatives of the killed PKK members went to the Kazan Valley for an investigation.
Different kinds of bombs
"We encountered a large number of body parts scattered all over the area. It could be seen that various kinds of bombs had been used but we do not know what kind of bombs" Akbulut described his first impression in the valley and added that everything was photographed for documentation.
Allegation of chemical weapons
"The statements of both the relatives and eye-witness imply the use of chemical weapons. The bodies were completely burned. This allegation definitely has to be investigated", Akbulut announced.
Samples were taken from the environment and the ground in order to determine whether chemical gas was used, he said and continued:
"We have the statements of a few villagers regarding allegations of chemical weapons. They said that two or three officials came and told them not to drink the local water for a couple of days. Specialists have to research the area and investigate in order to clarify these allegations".
The body parts found in the area on Monday (31 October) were sent to the Hakkari Public Chief Prosecution, the İHD Branch chair explained.
"They wanted us to hand the body parts over to the military officials. It was said that they were going to be sent to Malatya together with the body parts currently stored at the morgue of the military hospital."
The investigation of the families was continued on Tuesday (1 October) as well. Due to the size of the area in the Kazan Valley, the investigation is still going on today (2 October). Akbulut said that the report of their observations was going to be published.
What happened at the Kazan Valley?
24 PKK members died in an operation of the Turkish Armed Forces in the Çurkurca district of Hakkari on 19 October. Protest actions occurred in the region after it was reported that the bodies of the PKK members that were brought to Malatya in the meantime were torn into pieces and burnt. The families of the killed PKK members travelled to Malatya. (YY)