Body of YJA Star guerrilla handed over to her family after 6 months

The Turkish state has been conducting a sort of necro-policy against Kurdish society since the 1990s by exploiting the bodies of the martyrs.

Selma Şavlığ, a guerrilla fighter in the ranks of YJA-STAR (Free Women’s Troops) was martyred in a clash in the Besta region of Şırnak province in northern Kurdistan on 13 July 2023.

Şavlığ's body was taken to Şırnak State Hospital morgue on 13 July 2023. The family, who went to Şırnak in July, could not identify the body, which was then buried in the cemetery of the nameless. The family gave a blood sample at the hospital and waited for the results.

After 6 months, the Şavlığ family was notified by the Şırnak Security Directorate to receive the body of their daughter following the blood sample match. The Şavlığ family traveled to Şırnak where they took the remains from the cemetery of the nameless and set off for their hometown, Bitlis. According to reports, the body will be buried in Bitlis at night.

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 are mutilated, dismembered or publicly displayed. After the Turkish government abandoned the peace process in 2015, a new era began. 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 delivered after a long period of time. The remains are often buried in cemeteries of the nameless 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 Kurdish fighters to their relatives or simply burying the remains in undignified places. This approach aims to break society's spirit of resistance.