Keskin: Silence against the death of Kurdish children feeds impunity

IHD co-chair Eren Keskin emphasized that 16-year-old Muharrem Aksem lost his life due to the policy of impunity that even exceeded the law of the enemy, and said: "The silence around the killing of a Kurdish youngster feeds impunity."

The reactions to the discovery of Muharrem Aksem's lifeless body in an area used as a shooting and training location by the Şanlurfa Provincial Police Department special operations units are growing in the Micit (Çalışkanlar) District of the Central Eyyübiye district of Urfa.

The preliminary autopsy report on Aksem's death revealed that he had 12 metal items lodged in his body, that these piercing objects that pierced his chest caused bone fractures, that his right hand was torn from his wrist, and that he had holes in various portions of his clothing.

The HDP moved the report of the IHD Urfa Branch on Aksem's death to Parliament's agenda, revealing the chain of negligence. In the report, it has been noted that the area, where the training shootings took place, did not comply with the shooting curriculum, a red flag indicating danger was not planted, the area was a pasture used by villagers who made a living with livestock, yet security measures were not taken, there was a lot of exploded and unexploded ammunition, and no announcement was made to the citizens who lived in the area.


Evaluating the successive news of child deaths in Kurdistan to the ANF, Human Rights Association (IHD) Co-chair Eren Keskin emphasized that the biggest victims of war and conflict environments are always women and children.

Keskin stated in the Report on Violations of the Right to Life Against Children in the Environment of Armed Conflict compiled by the İHD Amed Branch that 228 children died between 2011 and 2021, with mine being the cause of death for 39 of them. He brought up the fact that explosives were said to have been detonated.

Despite the fact that none of the responsible people was prosecuted, Keskin emphasized that Aksem died as a result of the systemic impunity policy. "We usually emphasize that the law of war is being applied, but even the law of war has a structure," Keskin added, emphasizing that this impunity now exceeds even that. “Even military law isn't applied here; there's a lot of lawlessness and impunity. The officers who hit 5-year-old Efe Tektekin with an armoured vehicle were acquitted just two days earlier," he said.

Keskin emphasized that Turkey has signed the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of the Child and has pledged to preserve the right to life of children, but that no commitment has been fulfilled.

Keskin noted, referring to a report by the IHD Urfa Branch on the topic, that Muharrem Aksem was almost transformed into a shooting target, and added, "It is a dreadful thing to kill a child in this way when target practice in a public space is already illegal."


Keskin said that Muharrem Aksem's death was not even a news report on television channels that call themselves opposition and reacted to the insensitivity towards child deaths.

Noting that the supposed opposition parties remained silent on the subject, Keskin said: “There is a great silence ib the whole region against the death of a Kurdish child. That's the sad thing. It is this silence that feeds this impunity."

Expressing that in a society where there is so much lawlessness, there is no need to debate whether these murders were committed consciously or unconsciously Keskin further noted that those who did this understood that nothing would happen to them at all, therefore they acted so casually and carelessly.

Emphasizing that what transpired occurred because the Republic of Turkey lacks a rule of law, Keskin claimed that the state's "law," which violates not only domestic law but also international accords signed, serves as a cover for all human rights crimes.

Pointing out that these murders can only be prevented by taking a stand in politics, Keskin said, “This is a political problem, and politicians should speak out strongly against it. However, we can see that those that speak out are mostly the HDP and a few socialist parties. There isn't a single political party that opposes them. This is a situation that politics must deal with right now. Politicians who claim to be opponents should bring the issue of child murder to the agenda."