Armored vehicle kills in Yüksekova: Gun pointed at civilians

Video footage has emerged from the tower of the armored police vehicle that caused 4 civilian deaths in Yüksekova, Hakkari last year.

According to an article by Jin News, video footage has emerged from the tower of the Kobra type armored police vehicle that caused 4 civilian deaths and 2 injuries on October 8, 2016 in the Cengiz Topel Avenue in Hakkari’s Yüksekova district center. The armored police vehicle code named Orman with a license plate 30 A 0593 registered to the Hakkari Special Operations Department was on patrol on Cengiz Topel Avenue when the gun on its tower was fired, killing civilians in and in front of the furniture shop Jiyan Mobilya Serhat Buldan, Rahmi Safhalı, Necdet İşözü and Aydın Tümen and wounding civilians Şemsettin Kaya and Mehmet Ali Kaya.


The footage shows the armored vehicle with the license plate 30 A 0593 leaving the Yüksekova District Security Directorate’s front yard. The footage shows text to the right hand corner of the screen that says “Ready to Fire” in red letters, and “El” that shows the manual controls are on. The police officer driving the vehicle continuously turns the gun tower left and right after it leaves the directorate, and the footage shows the gun pointed at civilians passing by the vehicle. The vehicle that was actually involved in the incident is driving in the front and has its tower moving noticably less. Later, the armored vehicle drives slowly on Cengiz Topel Avenue and points its gun at civilians walking to the left and right and waiting in side streets.


The tower does a fast 360 degree turn, and arriving at the Prison intersection, the armored vehicle starts rapidly firing suddenly as it gets close to the small truck to the right of the road. Then the gun mounted on the top of the vehicle turns towards some 10 civilians standing and passing by, and fires rapidly for several seconds. Citizens run away in panic when they are shot at and flee to nearby shops. Meanwhile, a bullet hits one of the civilians on the head, and another hits the entrance of the shop. Several bullets break the windows. After the gunfire stops, the vehicle continues for a while and then comes to a halt. The “Ready to Fire” sign on the screen disappears. The vehicle camera that recorded these turns to the sky and remains stable there.


Ilyas Mekikli, the driver of the armored vehicle who was removed from duty after the legal and administrative inquiries launched, was arrested on October 8, 2016. The official statement after the incident claimed it was an “accident”. The Yüksekova Public Prosecutor’s Office concluded their investigation on the matter and filed charges against suspect police officer Ilyas Mekikli for “Causing death and injury with culpable negligence” demanding 15 years in prison for the crime.