A mass grave found in a cave in the district of Çatak (south-eastern Kurdish-majority city of Van) is supposed to contain the remains of German sociologist Andrea Wolf among a total of about 40 bodies. An investigation revealed that the people buried in the mass grave were killed with bullets.
This was the first investigation about the Çatak mass grave. Sami Görendağı, Branch Secretary of the Human Rights Association (İHD), was part of the delegation and talked to bianet about what they encountered in the cave.
Görendağ reported that the cave was situated in very difficult terrain. The investigation carried out by the delegation was the first one done in the cave.
"The family of Kamuran İnalkaç from Muş/Malazgirt made a research by means of the press and local sources into the whereabouts of their sons who joined the PKK [militant Kurdistan Workers' Party] in 1995. They found out that their sons died together with a number of other people in the course of armed conflicts in the region of Çatak and Beytuşşabap. Thereupon, they applied to the İHD".
He recalled, "The region is very isolated. It is four to five hours away from Van. The cave was made to collapse by the use of heavy weapons. The people were shot in a line with a militarist brutality. There were still pieces of clothes, hair, bones and pots and pans in the cave. Peasants from villages in the vicinity buried the bones they found scattered in the environment at the time".
Görendağ said that they were going to apply to the Çatak Public Prosecution and that they would inform the lawyers of sociologist Wolf.
ECHR convicted Turkey in Wolf case
Wolf's mother Lilo Wolf applied to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), claiming that her unarmed daughter had been executed and that her grave could not be found. In September 2010, the Turkish government was found guilty of a violation of Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights on the "Right to Life".
Human rights defender Andrea Wolf was working on a book related to the PKK. It was reported that she died in an armed conflict in the scope of a military operation. According to the accounts of eye-witnesses, Wolf was caught and died as the result of torture. (NV/ŞA/VK)
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