Remains of guerrillas Elçiçek and Satılmış delivered to their families after 5 years

Guerrillas Menfiyat Elçiçek and Azad Satılmış died in clashes with the Turkish army in Elkê more than five years ago. Only now did relatives receive their remains.

Guerrillas Menfiyat Elçiçek and Azad Satılmış died in September 2018 in clashes with the Turkish army on Kato Marinos in Beytüşşebap (Elkê) near Şirnak. Although their relatives have since exhausted all legal means to obtain the bodies of the two fallen guerrillas, the authorities had refused to release the remains so far.

Then, an unexpected call came from the Institute of Forensic Medicine (ATK) and the families of both martyrs were asked to go and get the bodies of the two guerrillas from the local ATK facility in Şirnak. Authorities did not comment on whether the remains of Menfiyat Elçiçek and Azad Satılmış had been kept in a mortuary since their deaths in 2018 or whether they were buried anonymously and now exhumed. Menfiyat Elçiçek will now be buried in her hometown of Şirnak, Azad Satılmış will be buried in Van.

Turkish policy

The Turkish state has been conducting a sort of necro-policy against Kurdish society since the 1990s by exploiting the bodies of the martyrs. Bodies were mutilated, dismembered or publicly displayed. Since the Turkish government abandoned the peace process in 2015, a new era begun. Massive police operations have turned funerals of fighters, which were attended by thousands and often even hundreds of thousands before 2015, into small events surrounded by police in which a maximum of ten family members can take part.

At the same time, the bodies of the fallen guerrillas are often only released after a long period of time. The remains are often buried in anonymous graves and have to be exhumed, which represents further harassment for the families. However, the state goes even further by sending packages containing the bones of the fallen to their relatives or simply burying the remains in undignified places. This approach aims to break society's spirit of resistance.