Kurdish Father receives son’s bones in a sack from Turkish authorities
Ali Riza Arslan, whose son's bones were given to him in a sack, spoke to +GercekNews. Describing the grief he has gone through, Arslan said that they accepted condolences after the burial.
Hakan Arslan was one of the people who lost their lives in the Sur district of Diyarbakir in clashes during the curfew declared on December 2, 2015. Arslan's family struggled for many years to get the remains of their children. As a result of the family's 7-year struggle, yesterday Hakan Arslan's bones were delivered to his father, Ali Riza Arslan in a sack. Arslan, who came from Erzurum and received his son's bones in a sack from the Diyarbakır Courthouse, took his son's bones by road to the Cavus village in the Karayazi district of Erzurum. Following religious obligations, the family buried the bones of their child 7 years later.
ARSLAN: I FELT VERY BAD, THE REMAINS SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN DELIVERED LIKE THIS
The father, Ali Riza Arslan whom +GercekNews contacted, said that after receiving his son's bones, he reached his village without any problems and buried him. Expressing that they have been struggling for many years for his son to have a grave, Arslan criticized the lack of respect shown for the funeral by saying: “I felt very bad. I was devastated, the remains should not have been delivered like this.”
Stating that they were not able to mourn their son for 7 years since there is no burial place, Arslan said that they could mourn only after the burial was over:
“We could not mourn for my son after losing him. After the burial we are receiving condolences. We are sitting in front of our house. We accept condolences.”
DIYARBAKIR BAR ASSOCIATION APPLIED TO THE COUNCIL OF JUDGES AND PROSECUTORS
The Diyarbakir Bar Association, criticizing the way Hakan Arslan's bones were handed over to the family in a sack, filed a complaint to the Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSK) about the prosecutor who delivered the bones to the father Ali Riza Arslan in a sack. Diyarbakir Bar Association, demanded an investigation to be launched against the authorities who would give the bones of a person to their father in such a way, with the charges of “malpractice” and "desecration of a person's remains."
THIS PROCEDURE HAS A PLACE IN THE COLLECTIVE MEMORY OF THE KURDS
Another reaction was from the Human Rights Association (IHD). Head of the Diyarbakir Branch of IHD Abdullah Zeytun, speaking to +GercekNews pointed out that this was not the first time, similar practices had happened before. Reminding that recently, Agit Ipek's body was sent to his family by cargo, Zeytun said: “Also, some bodies were buried in the pavement. In this last incident, the body of the person was delivered in a sack. Of course, all these illegal practices are in fact starting to have a place in the Kurdish society and its collective memory.”
“IT IS A POLITICAL TORTURE THAT CREATES SUFFERING ON RELATIVES”
Emphasizing that these practices are against international and humanitarian law, Zeytun said, “In particular, European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and the humanitarian law evaluates the right of people to bid farewell to the dead, burial and mourn in the context of respect to private and family life. In this respect, people need to respect the memory of the person and those who are left behind should be able to go through this mourning process with dignity. In this context, we see this as a political violence that completely violates these rights and creates moral suffering and torture on the relatives.”
“IT IS A HUMAN BODY, NOT A SIMPLE OBJECT WHICH IS BEING DELIVERED”
Stating that both judges and the public officials have responsibilities in this regard, Zeytun said “For people to be buried in accordance with human dignity, in accordance with their families’ traditions, customs and traditions is both an ethical conviction and a requirement of international and humanitarian law. I express myself outside these regulations and written laws, this is an indisputable right. After all, the public officials and judges need to know that the thing delivered is not a simple object, but it is a person's body which is being delivered. Therefore, it should be handed over to his relatives in a manner which fits the human dignity shown to all other dead. As the Human Rights Association, we started the legal process and filed a complaint against these individuals and judges.”