"The whole Diyarbakir crashed down on me"
A Kurdish father whose son was killed in Turkey’s southeastern city of Diyarbakir seven years ago during the protests against a curfew said his whole world crashed when he saw an official take out a sack containing the bones of his son from a cupboard in the courthouse before handing it to him, BBC Turkish reported.
In February last year, when excavators in Diyarbakir came across some bones that could have been buried there during the clashes of 2015-2016, father Ali Riza Aslan applied to the courthouse believing the bones could belong to his son, since he already knew he was buried near that place.
When he tested a 60 percent DNA match with his son’s remains, the father was told a test from the mother was also needed. Finally on 18 November of 2021, the family proved the bones belonged to their son with a 95 percent DNA match, but it took ten months for the father to receive his son’s remains, and he was handed them in a sack.
Aslan said he waited on the roadside for a while with the sack in his hands, and then took a cab to go to Erzurum, where he lives.
"There was neither a prosecutor, nor a judge, just an officer. He took the box of my 28-year-old son's bones out of the cupboard and handed them to me. I did not expect this at all, my eyes darkened, I gasped, it was as if the whole of Diyarbakır fell on my head at that moment,“ Aslan said in an interview with BBC Turkish.
"I don't remember how I got that box containing my son's bones, I was devastated," he said.
Aslan said the person who delivered the sack was also embarrassed, so he could not spare him. “There was no other authority to whom I could say 'This is inhumane',” he said.
Diyarbakir Bar Association filed charges against the personnel in Diyarbakir courthouse saying the act was an “insult to the memory of a person.”
Columnist Vahap Coskun from Serbestiyet reacted to the incident saying “There is no Kurdish question in Turkey. This is a question of morality, conscience and humanity.”
Italian comic journalist and political activist Gianluca Costantini drew the picture of the Kurdish father on a wall in Istanbul.
The picture depicted the father carrying the remains, symbolized by a portrait of the son.