Turkey: Deputy serves as referee in tournament organized in commemoration of police victim
A deputy served as referee in the regional final game of a football tournament that was organized in commemoration of 23-year-old arts student Kemal Kurkut, who was killed by the police during Newroz celebrations in Turkey's Kurdish-majority city of Diyarbakir in 2017.
The game was played in Turkey's western city of Gebze on Wednesday between Cayirova Amedspor and Gebze Arin Mirkan, named after Arin Mirkan, a Kurdish woman who died fighting against the Islamic State (ISIS) in October 2014 in the besieged Syrian city of Kobani.
Cayirova Amedspor won the game and became the regional champion in the Kemal Kurkut Football Tournament that has been going on for over a month with games played in several cities across Turkey.
Öner Faruk Gergerlioglu, deputy for the Peoples' Democratic Party and a rights activist, who served as the referee, said after the game that they will not allow a cover-up in the case of the murder of Kemal Kurkut.
About Kemal Kurkut
Kurkut was killed by the police at a checkpoint in Diyarbakir on 21 March 2017 as he was entering the Newroz celebration area.
Newroz, meaning the "new day" in English, marks the arrival of the new year on the spring equinox and represents triumph over hardship for Kurds.
After the deadly incident the city governor’s office released a statement, saying that the police assessed that the man could be a suicide bomber, because he was running with a knife in hand, and crying, "I’ve got a bomb in my bag, I’m going to kill you all.”
On the following day, however, photographs taken of the incident by a journalist emerged which showed that the victim was carrying only a bottle of water in his hands, that his top half was completely naked and there was nothing fastened to his body.
The reporter who took the pictures, Abdurrahman Gok, was later indicted on allegations of "membership of a terrorist organization."