Where is the body of journalist Erdemci killed in Serêkaniyê?

Kurdish journalist Vedat Erdemci died in a Turkish air raid on Serêkaniyê on the third day of the invasion of Rojava. His body is in the hands of the Turkish Islamist occupation troops.

Vedat Erdemci's family has called for the location of the dead body of the 27-year-old journalist who died on the third day of Turkey's illegal offensive on the self-governing territories of Northern and Eastern Syria.

Journalist Vedat Erdemci died in a Turkish air raid on Serêkaniyê (Ras al-Ain) on 11 October, but his violent death did not become public until about three weeks later. Colleagues from Europe had repeatedly tried to reach Erdemci by telephone. During one of these calls, a jihadist proxy soldier of the so-called "Syrian National Army" (SNA) contacted the other end of the line and said: "The owner of this telephone is dead". Later, the Islamists sent video footage of his decapitated body to his family.

Vedat Erdemci's mother Remziye Erdemci learned about the death of her son from the media. She demands the handover of his body in order to bury him in Northern Kurdistan. It is otherwise impossible for the family to grieve and deal with the emotional burden, Erdemci said in an interview with the Mezopotamya news agency (MA).

UNESCO Director General deplores death of Erdemci

Audrey Azoulay, Director General of UNESO, has condemned the murder of Vedat Erdemci and Syrian photojournalist Abdul Hameed al-Yousef, who were killed in northern Syria on 11 October and 10 November respectively. “I condemn the killing of journalists Abdul Hameed al-Yousef and Vedat Erdemci," she said. The heavy toll paid by journalists in Syria is intolerable and I remind all parties of their obligation to protect the lives of journalists and civilians in accordance with the Geneva Conventions.”

Who was Vedat Erdemci?

The Kurdish journalist Vedat Erdemci came from Viranşehir, a district of Urfa in Northern Kurdistan, close the border to Syria, only 50 kilometers to Serêkaniyê. Until 2014, Erdemci, who was the father of two children, worked for various cultural and journalistic institutions. For some time he worked in the press office of the municipality of Viranşehir. He was remanded in custody in Turkey for three months in the scope of a trial against him. Shortly after his release, the trial ended with a long prison sentence. Erdemci then went to Kobanê, where he continued his journalistic work for Kurdish media institutions such as ANHA and Ronahî TV. Less than a year later one of his brothers died defending the region against the ISIS in Serêkaniyê.

In Northern Syria, Vedat Erdemci most recently worked on a documentary on the Yazidi women and children freed from ISIS captivity by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the last ISIS enclave al-Baghouz. He is the third journalist to die in the Turkish invasion of Rojava.

HDP (Peoples’ Democratic Party) MP Meral Danış Beştaş submitted a parliamentary question recently asking about the fate of Erdemci and if the government will take an action for his remains to be transferred to his family. The question has not been answered yet.