Turkey takes fingerprints of Kurdish children in Eastern Hakkari
Turkish security officials are taking fingerprints of children in Kurdish-populated eastern Hakkari province, citing reason for “easily finding them in case they are lost.”
Sparking criticism among the law circles, the practice is underway within the scope of a new project called “My compass is the police,” which has been launched by the Yuksekova District Police Department last month.
Yüksekova İlçe Emniyet Müdürlüğü Toplum Destekli Polislik Büro Amirliğimizce ''Pusulam Polis'' projesi kapsamında, ilçemizde vatandaşların kaybolduklarında daha kolay ulaşılabilmesi ve mağduriyetlerinin giderilmesi için evleri ziyaret edilip parmak izleri alındı. pic.twitter.com/Qq3UVS0y7T— Hakkari Emniyet Müdürlüğü (@EmniyetHakkari) September 27, 2022
“The main purpose of fingerprinting is to identify the suspects in criminal investigations, and we, the minority that still asks questions and strives to live more humanely in freedom and equality, can't help thinking about the possibility that these children, who are registered, would be made "terror suspects" of the future by the Turkish state,” journalist Tugce Tatari wrote for T24 on Tuesday.
Kurdish children are stigmatized as 'not born innocent,' Tatari said.
“Unless it is questioned whether the presumption of innocence is valid for the Kurds and, more importantly, for their children, it is very difficult to talk about the possible hope for the future for humanity in this country,” she said.
“If this is really a study based on "the possibility of children getting lost," how could this practice be overlooked in the most populated cities of Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir? Doesn't anyone get lost in these cities?” Tatari asked.
Hakkari Bar Association Child Rights Center on Wednesday slammed the project as “unlawful” and announced that it will continue to follow up on the details and the future legal process of the practice.
Hakkari Emniyet Müdürlüğü'nün 27.09.2022 tarihli paylaşımında çocukların fotoğraflarını da kullanmak suretiyle kaybolma "ihtimal"lerine karşın çocukların evlerinde parmak izlerinin alındığı "pusulam polis" ismiyle uygulanan usulsüz projenin ayrıntılarına dair takibi sürdürmekte+— Hakkari Barosu Çocuk Hakları Merkezi (@hakkaricocuk) October 12, 2022
Kurds, Turkey’s largest ethnic minority, represents around 20 percent of the population, mostly inhabited in the eastern and southeastern provinces of the country.
In the 1990s, during the armed conflict between Turkish military and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), government, military and security forces carried out enforced disappearances and killings of thousands of Kurdish civilians, according to Human Rights Watch (HRW). The armed struggle has costed around 45,000 lives of military personnel, PKK members, and civilians, since its beginning in early 1980’s.