HDP investigates the helicopter torture in Van

The HDP is investigating the case of the two villagers who were arrested ten days ago and are reported to have been thrown from a military helicopter. One of the victims suffers from amnesia, the other is in danger of his life.

A delegation of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) visited Van on Tuesday to investigate the case of the two tortured and seriously injured villagers Osman Şiban (50) and Servet Turgut (55), who were thrown from a military helicopter. The delegation included Saruhan Oluç, deputy co-chair of the parliamentary group, deputies Rıdvan Turan, Muazzez Orhan and Murat Sarısaç, as well as board members Ümit Dede, Sevtap Akdağ and Doğan Erbaş.

Already upon arrival of the group at the airport of Van there were first hindrances by the security forces. Members of the HDP provincial association were stopped on their way to the airport by armored cars of the riot police. The reason given cited as the ban imposed by the governor's office on assembly, which has been in place for years. The HDP members reacted with indignation, and verbal arguments with the police ensued.

The HDP delegation held a conversation with the head physician of the Van Training and Research Hospital, where one of the two people concerned is in intensive care. Afterwards, the group wanted to make a statement in front of the hospital, which in turn was prevented by the police. The HDP group was surrounded by police officers and there were arrest attempts, which led to a brief altercation. In the end, a statement could only be made in the police cauldron, while journalists were not allowed to be present.

"In very poor health condition"

Speaking in front of the hospital, Saruhan Oluç said: "The chief physician informed us about the medical reports and the condition of our fellow citizen who is still in intensive care. Unfortunately this information is extremely negative. Of course, one must not give up hope, but his health condition is very poor. The family has also been informed. The affected person suffers from a head trauma and numerous bone fractures.

Our second fellow citizen has been discharged from this hospital. However, we have been informed that he is under observation in another hospital. It is being checked whether he can give a statement. As we have heard, he too has suffered a trauma. We have spoken to his family and wish him a speedy recovery.”

Oluç remarked that the HDP will continue to pursue the case, saying "The governor of Van, who was also appointed trustee to the HDP-run municipality, claims in a written statement that our two fellow citizens were arrested in accordance with the norm. Brain trauma, internal bleeding and broken bones in one case and amnesia in the other are therefore claimed to be in accordance with the norm. They have been tortured and it is not part of the governor's duties to cover up torture. Rather, he must ensure that the torture is investigated and investigations are initiated against those responsible. At this point we ask: Who gave the order to torture? And who carried it out? Who is trying to cover up the order of torture? Who was it? Is the Ministry of the Interior responsible? We ask Süleyman Soylu that. Is the Ministry of Defense responsible? Let's ask Hulusi Akar. Who gave the order? Were they special forces? Was it the police or the security forces? The new JITEM? We want to know who tortured our citizens."

"Cruelty against Kurds is rewarded"

Kurds are outlawed in Turkey and no cruelty against them is legally punished, said Oluç and continued: “Violent offenders from the ranks of the security forces or special forces are even rewarded for it. In this country, it is pretended that the Kurds have no rights. It is pretended that the Kurds are not citizens of this country. We are even prevented here from making a press statement. Journalists are not allowed to be present, only one of our representatives can film us. And why? Because the government has become a despot.”

"We won't bend the knee"

"The government can only hold on to power through oppression. With this it wants to bring everyone to their knees. However, we will not bend, we will never bend in the face of this cruelty. This applies to the Kurdish people, the democratic forces in Turkey, the HDP and the entire political and social opposition. We will pursue this case politically and legally, may the governor and the government know that. I say it openly; we are not asking this government for mercy and understanding. The entire society will stand upright to ensure that not a single hair of our citizens is harmed in any way," said HDP politician Saruhan Oluç.