IHD report on Varto: The state threatens civilians' security of life

Human Rights Association (IHD) has released a report of its assessments in Varto district of Muş where Turkish security forces executed civilians and attacked the living areas of the local people earlier this week.

Human Rights Association (IHD) has released a report of its assessments in Varto district of Muş where Turkish security forces executed civilians and attacked the living areas of the local people earlier this week.

Human Rights Association had sent a delegation of 6 persons to Varto district of Muş in order to assess the massacre attempt of the Turkish state against the civilian people living here. A report prepared by the delegation has been released today at a press conference at the headquarters of the association in Ankara.

Speaking here, the head of the delegation Sevim Salihoğlu said state forces opened fire on houses and workplaces of locals, tortured civilians after the withdrawal of HPG guerrillas from the town.

Salihoğlu said the delegation of the IHD first interviewed the people who suffered harms on August 15-16-17, stating that two civilians and two HPG guerrillas were killed by Turkish forces during the conflict that erupted after the torture to death of YJA Star guerrilla Kevser Eltürk (Ekin Wan) in the district and display of her images after death.

She told that security forces opened random fire on the houses and workplaces of the people, set some of them on fire and tortured some civilians such as Ersin Kızılboğa.

Salihoğlu stressed that an investigation and legal process should be started regarding the claims that Eltürk was tortured to death after she was captured wounded during a clash in Varto area on August 10.

The head of the IHD delegation said the local people all confirmed that security forces rained bullets on their houses and workplaces, and refuted the claims by state officials that these attacks on civilian areas occurred 'during a clash'.


“The fact that two out of the four executed people were local civilians, demonstrates that their right to live was blatantly violated. The execution of two children working in a bakery in Ağrı/Diyadin proves that this conflict process will also harm the people besides the two sides, and that the civilians have no security of life", she underlined.

Salihoğlu said the local people were acting in a "war psychology", and voiced concerns over their claims that security forces patrolling in armoured vehicles equipped with thermal cameras opened fire on every single move they detected during their presence in civilian settlements.


Salihoğlu said the military intervention in Varto didn't damage any public property while numerous houses and workplaces of civilians were targeted and hit, and commented this situation as an evidence proving that these attacks were conducted by the very self of Turkish security forces.

Salihoğlu further said people in the town hesitated to tell about what they have been through for fear of detention, arrest and mistreatment.

“Right to live is inviolable and sacred under any condition. Without a protection of the right to live, no other rights can be enjoyed either. Right to live is defended and secured in regional and international conventions. All the rules to be obeyed in an armed conflict and war are guaranteed by the Geneva Convention. It is obvious that all the cases that ended up in critical violations in Varto demonstrate an abuse of provisions of law concerning humanity" Salihoğlu underlined.

Recalling that two other people were also executed in Varto in addition to locals Rahmi Kızıltaş and Abdullah Toprak, Salihoğlu called for an immediate exposure, trial and punishment of the perpetrators of right violations in Varto.


Speaking after, IHD President Öztürk Türkdoğan pointed out that this conflict has started a new process witnessing evacuation of villages and execution of civilians.

Türkdoğan put emphasis on the urgent need for peace against the recent developments which stand as a return back to 90's when over 40 thousand people lost their lives. IHD President called for an end to the bloodshed and loss of lives, and described the incidents in Varto as a manifestation of the fact that the state mentality has not ever changed.

Calling attention to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's remarks that 'Turkey's regime has changed', Türkdoğan said the people's demand for self-governance should also be discussed. He added that there is no difference between Erdoğan's remarks and the demands for self-governance.