Excavation begins in Newala Qesaba
Diggers arrived in Newala Qesaba where the mass graves of many guerrillas are located and began excavations.
According to the Human Rights Association, diggers arrived in Newala Qesaba (Butchers Creek), the huge mass grave where at least 300 guerrillas, including one of the leading commanders of the PKK, Mahsun Korkmaz (Egîd), are buried. The diggers have begun excavation in the are.
No sure information could be obtained as to why the ongoing excavations are being carried out, however according to research by journalist Oktay Candemir, a police academy is to be built on the site. News of the excavation was met with outrage by the Kurdish society. Civil law organizations have announced that they will take legal action against the "construction project".
Newala Qesaba was not only used as a mass grave since the 1980s. In 1915 the bodies of Armenians who were murdered in the Young Turk genocide of the Christian peoples in the Ottoman Empire were buried there. It is not known how many people were buried at the site during the genocide. Most recently, the area was used as a landfill.
The approval of this place as building land goes to the account of the Turkish provincial governor Osman Hacıbektaşoğlu, who has also acted as trustee of the city administration since June 2020. The democratically elected mayors: Berivan Helen Işık and Peymandara Turhan had been removed and arrested a month earlier by order of the Interior Ministry. They were released shortly afterwards, but have been under house arrest ever since. The indictment in the preliminary investigation against the two politicians of the HDP for “propaganda for a terrorist organization”, “membership in a terrorist organization” and “humiliation of the state of Turkey, its institutions and organs” has still not been finalized.