Operation against Ronahî Martyrs' Cemetery in Van

Turkish soldiers have started an operation against yet another cemetery of Kurdish guerrillas in Çatak district of Van.

Turkish soldiers have started an operation against yet another cemetery of Kurdish guerrillas in Çatak district of Van.

The operation targets a martyrs' cemetery which was named after Ronahî, the code name of PKK guerrilla of German origins, human rights activist and sociologist Andrea Wolf, who was among the PKK militants buried in a mass grave discovered by IHD (Human Rights Association) personnel in the spring of 2011.

Andrew Wolf alongside 40 PKK (Kurdistan Worker’s Party) militants were murdered and buried in the village of Andiçen (Kelahêrê) in Van's Çatak district by the Turkish army in a massacre on 23rd October 1998.

According to information gathered to date, in 1998 the German internationalist Andrea Wolf in the Kurdish women’s army (YAJK), together with her Kurdish comrades, were taken prisoner by the Turkish army following a skirmish in this area. According to witnesses’ statements, as an unarmed prisoner, she was tortured and extralegally executed along with at least two other combatants – the victims’ corpses were subsequently further abused and mutilated.

Reports have also been received today of a bombardment against the “Martyr İsmail and Martyr Ronahi Cemetery” area located in Kulan region in Varto district of Muş.

Attacks on the cemeteries of Kurdish guerrillas have started today in the wake of yesterday's reports that a “confidential” instruction signed by Turkish Minister of Interior Sebahattin Öztürk and sent to the governors of Kurdish cities orders the demolition of 14 cemeteries of Kurdish guerrillas.

The instruction orders "demolition of terrorist organization's cemeteries and outbuildings in a detailed operation, and information of Gendarmerie General Command". The cities where operations are asked to be conducted are listed as Ağrı, Bitlis, Diyarbakır, Mardin, Siirt, Şırnak and Dersim.