Turkish police attack Yeniköy Cemetery again

Guerrilla gravestones in the Yeniköy Cemetery in Amed's Bağlar district have been attacked by the police once again.

The AKP-MHP regime increases its attacks on the values of the Kurdish people who haven't surrendered despite all fascist practices.

Diyarbakır Security Directorate sent a notice to the Metropolitan Municipality Health Services Department Cemeteries Directorate on orders from the Public Prosecutor’s Office on November 19 that demanded “the gravestones with symbols, writing, quotes or flags/bands that symbolize the PKK or have the word ‘martyr’ on them be changed”. On November 20, gravestones of YPS and YPS-JİN members who lost their lives during the curfews in Sur and YPG and YPJ members who lost their lives fighting ISIS in Rojava had been changed. Cemetery workers accompanied by the police had broken the white marble gravestones with photographs of the deceased and flags of their organizations. The stones that replaced them only had names and dates of birth and death on them.

The families visited their children’s graves again today and witnessed another attack on the gravestones. They said they learned that the gravestones have been damaged for two days and that the incident is inhumane. The police scratched over the word “martyr” and the code names on the gravestones with spiral machines after the stones had been repaired by the families in November, and some of the stones had been damaged.


Attacks on the cemeteries in 2017 are as follows:

December 22, 2017: The Garzan Cemetery in the rural areas of the Yukarı Ölek (Oleka Jor) village in Bitlis center which has 267 graves of PKK members who have lost their lives on different dates was completely demolished by construction machines. The cemetery had been damaged before in August 2013 while it was being built and again in September 2015 in an extensive military operation. Construction machines were brought in after curfews were declared in the region and the cemetery and the prayer room had been demolished.

February 16, 2017: The Batman Municipality that had a trustee appointed and the Batman Public Prosecutor’s Office sent notices to families to take down the 23 gravestones in İkiztepe Cemetery that belonged to people who lost their lives on different dates, including Peace Mother Meryem Bulut and Aycan Kaya who lost their lives in the October 10 Ankara Massacre. Later, the gravestones were torn out.

February 21, 2017: Dozens of policemen and armored vehicles damaged graves in the Yenimahalle Cemetery in Van’s İpekyolu district. Police damaged graves of HPG, YJA-Star, YPG and YPJ members and took out the yellow and red bands and burned them. “T.C.” (“Turkish Republic”) was written on many of the graves.

April 7, 2017: On orders from the Dersim Governor and the trustee Osman Kaymak, HPG members Sancar Buluç and Baran Çetinkaya’s graves were damaged by soldiers in the Karabulut (Sürek) village in the Akpazar (Perî) town of Dersim’s Mazgirt district.

April 28, 2017: The cemetery in the Orman neighborhood of Hakkari’s Yüksekova district was damaged by special operations policemen. The word “carrion” was written on gravestones.

June 5, 2017: In an operation launched on April 18 by large numbers of soldiers and village guards in the Kato Mountain region of Şırnak’s Beytüşşebap district, graves of PKK members were damaged. The walls of the PKK cemetery in the Meydan Kolya Plains was torn down with diggers. Gravestones were damaged and the visitor’s building was completely destroyed. The vicinity of the cemetery had been bombed in an aerial attack on November 14, 2015.

June 12, 2017: The mausoleum built for Kurdish woman politician Sakine Cansız who had been murdered in Paris on January 9, 2013 along with Fidan Doğan and Leyla Şaylemez was damaged. The mausoleum had been built in the Dersim Asri Cemetery 2 km from the city center, and had a 3 meter high wall with a photograph of Cansız, a star and dove wings. The attackers attempted to take down the dove wings and the star in the attack on the mausoleum and broke parts of them with a blunt object when they failed to take out the pine artifacts mounted on marble.

With the conflict period that started on July 24, 2015, HPG and YJA-Star guerrillas' cemeteries in rural areas have been bombed from fighter jets and torn down with construction machines. The mosques, cemevis (Alevi place of worship) and prayer rooms in the cemeteries have also been completely destroyed.