Turkish state orders destruction of guerrillas’ graves

Attacks by Turkish security forces on the graves of guerrilla fighters are increasing despite the Corona pandemic.

The Turkish authorities are systematically taking action against the graves of guerrilla fighters. In this scope, the relatives of fallen fighters in Silvan have been summoned to the command of the military police (genarmerie) and ordered to remove the letters "Q, W and X" from the gravestones of their relatives. These letters do not appear in the Turkish, but in the Kurdish alphabet. The commander of the military police explained that only Turkish names were allowed on the gravestones. In some cases, there were attacks by the police when the relatives rejected this demand. According to the families, the commander said: "You will break the gravestones. Otherwise we will open and remove the graves. Take a photo and send it to us once you have broken the gravestones."

Same procedure in Van

For some time now, similar processes have also been taking place in Van province. Soldiers of the Turkish army, accompanied by mukhtars, check cemeteries for guerrilla graves. If they find one, flags or green-yellow-red symbols are removed in the first place. Then the families are visited, who are then "told" not to repeat such things. Gravestones on which the name "Şehîd" (Kurdish for "martyr") or the code name of the fighters or Kurdish symbols are depicted are taken away and broken in front of the relatives. Or the relatives are called to the cemetery to do this themselves. The latest incident of this kind happened a week ago in the Erciş district where two gravestones were deliberately destroyed by soldiers of the Turkish army - in the presence of the families of the martyrs.

Graves are systematically attacked

The brutal action against the memory of the martyrs is an integral part of the Turkish state’s psychological warfare against the Kurdish resistance. This form of attacks gained an unprecedented scale, especially under the rule of the AKP. Guerrilla cemeteries systematically became the target of attacks. Hundreds of bodies were even kidnapped and buried in unknown places.