Turkey: Families of victims of armed conflict denied graveyard visits
Turkish troops took positions around cemeteries in Turkey's Kurdish-majority province of Diyarbakır, and shut out people who wanted to visit the graveyards of their family members who were killed in clashes with Turkish forces, Jin News reported on Friday.
Groups of people and representatives of an association for solidarity with families of victims of armed conflicts, MEBYA-DER, came to visit graveyards at three cemeteries on Friday, on the occasion of Eid al-Adha.
The cemeteries of Sise and Cheme Elikan in the district of Lice, and the cemetery of Pirijman in the district of Dicle, were cordoned off by large numbers of troops to prevent the visitors from entering in.
MEBYA-DER co-chair voiced her protest at the village of Sise.
Meryem Soylu said:
"Families wish to visit the graveyards of their lost ones and express their grievances on this sacred day, but they are not allowed to. This is a brutal ban, and no such ban is imposed in any other country."
Families who were met with a line of soldiers at the gate of the Elikan Cemetery were told that the Governor's Office in Diyarbakir had issued a ban on visits. The families gathered before the gate to observe a minute's silence.
After another group was denied entry to the cemetery of Pirijman in Dicle, MEBYA-DER co-chair Sehmus Karadag made a brief address, saying:
"The remains of 33 fighters who were killed in 1993 by chemical weapons were all buried in graves for the unclaimed. It is 2022 now, but Kurds are targeted just the same. We have come to visit this cemetery today to claim our traditional values, but they will not tolerate it. They try to diminish our values and make us forget."