Protest in İzmir against civilian killings by armoured vehicles

Law and human rights organizations made a statement about Abdulgaffar Dayan who was killed by a military armoured vehicle in the predominantly Kurdish city of Cizre in Turkey's far southeast.

The Association of Lawyers for Freedom (ÖHD), Contemporary Lawyers Association (ÇHD) and Human Rights Association (IHD) İzmir branches made a press statement paying tribute to Abdulgaffar Dayan who was killed by a military armoured vehicle on January 24 in Şırnak's Cizre district. Representatives and members of the institutions attended the press briefing in front of the Bayraklı Courthouse. Lawyer Velat Zeren read out the press release with a banner reading “Not an accident, but a massacre! "Those responsible will be held accountable" being displayed.


Zeren noted that Dayan was a relative of Cemile Çağırga, who was killed by gunfire from an armoured vehicle in front of her house on September 7, 2015 and whose body was kept in a freezer for a week because state officials did not allow the family to bury her. Zeren referred to a report released by the TİHV and the İHD on violations of rights caused by armoured vehicles in North Kurdistan (Turkey’s south-eastern regions). “Between 2008 and 2021, 42 Kurds, 20 of whom were children, lost their lives in at least 76 armoured vehicles crashes, and in the last 4 years, 50 people, 14 of whom were children, were injured and 18 people, 9 of whom were children, lost their lives,” Zeren cited the report.

Zeren pointed out that there have been no effective legal investigations into these murders, while people who were killed by armoured police vehicles were even blamed by the state authorities, with perpetrators being acquitted and rewarded. Zeren noted that the armoured vehicle killings were a part of the policies of extermination and assimilation pursued against the Kurdish people. He remarked that the killings of civilians by military vehicles were not mere accidents, but the outcome of a planned practice. “As can be seen in similar murders so far, the only reason why Dayan was killed by a military vehicle was that he was on the street at that moment as a Kurd,” Zeren said.

Zeren said that the hostile policies against the Kurds should be abandoned. He also demanded that an effective investigation be carried out and the policy of impunity be immediately terminated when it comes to the deaths caused by armoured vehicles. Zeren concluded by saying that the use of armoured vehicles in living spaces should be halted.