Victims of Roboski massacre commemorated

Speaking at the commemoration in Roboski, DEM Party Co-Chair Tülay Hatimoğulları said: "The mentality that carried out the Roboski massacre is the same mentality that carries out massacres in Rojava today."

34 people, including 19 minors, who were killed in Roboski village in the Uludere district of Şirnak province on 28 December 2011 were commemorated on the 12th anniversary of the massacre.

Families and relatives of the victims attended the commemoration at Roboski Cemetery of Martyrs with photographs of their beloved ones. Democratic Regions Party (DBP) Co-Chairs Çiğdem Kılıçgün Uçar and Keskin Bayındır, Peoples' Equality and Democracy Party (DEM Party) Co-Chair Tülay Hatimoğulları, DEM Party Spokesperson Ayşegül Doğan, SYKP Co-Chair Canan Yüce, EMEP Co-Chair Seyit Aslan, Human Rights Association (IHD) Co-Chair Hüseyin Küçük, Union of Turkish Bar Associations (TBB) Board Member Ali Bayram, Presidents of Diyarbakır, Batman, Mardin, Şırnak, Van Bar Associations, DEM Party MPs, representatives of organisations and political parties and citizens attended the commemoration on Thursday.

The commemoration started with the slogan "Şehid namirin" (Martyrs are immortal) and prayers for those who lost their lives. Speaking on behalf of the Roboski families, Halime Encü stated that their wounds have been fresh for 12 years and said, "We will not rest until the perpetrators are not tried. We were poor, we were trying to bring home the bread, it was nothing else. I refer them to God. Our hearts burned out. I would like to thank everyone who came here today."

DBP Co-Chair Keskin Bayındır said, "The AKP-MHP government always wants to turn Botan into a battlefield. With a hostile approach, this geography has always been turned to a place of massacres. No one has been held accountable for the massacres perpetrated so far. Not only in Roboski but also in dozens of massacres, such as Sivas pogrom or the killing of Mehmet Sincar, no one has been tried so far. This shows that the killers are protected by the state. The biggest example of this is Roboski. We all know who committed the Roboski massacre, who gave the order. But no one has been tried. They want to cover this up. The Kurdish enmity has grown as big as these mountains. They want to hide the Kurdish issue here. The solution to the Kurdish question starts with Roboski and continues with the prosecution of Apê Musa's murderers. There is no other solution. We will continue our struggle until we bring the perpetrators of Roboski before our mothers. We do not accept this hostility and persecution."

Hüseyin Küçük, Co-President of the Human Rights Association, said: "The AKP government used to boast that they did not commit the massacres of the past. They said that they recognised the Dersim massacre and apologised for it. The Roboski massacre happened during your term. Roboski is a crime against humanity. There is no statute of limitations for crimes against humanity. Roboski is the result of the security policy in the Kurdish question. In order to solve the Kurdish question, Roboski must be faced in the first place."

Lawyer Ali Bayram, member of the Central Executive Board of the Union of Turkish Bar Associations, said: "I was one of the first lawyers to come here when the massacre took place. When we first came here, we saw the bodies of people gathered on the carpet field at the entrance of the village. Twelve years have passed. Unfortunately, we have not seen a political will to face the truth in order to shed light on this case. We have not seen any investigative authority to conduct an effective investigation. When the judiciary and political authorities do not fulfill their duties, no light is shed on the files. A state can be a state when it is ruled by law and justice."

Rojhat Dilsiz, President of the Şirnak Bar Association, said: "The massacres in this geography are covered up by the culture of impunity. As lawyers, we need to fight against this until the end. The mothers in Roboski have once again shown us this honourable life through their struggle. In order to solve the Kurdish question, Roboski must be confronted, and the perpetrators must be tried. Not only children but also humanity were killed in Roboski."

DEM Party Co-Chairperson Tülay Hatimoğulları said, "We are speaking from one side of the border drawn with a pen in Turkey. The massacre took place right on those borders. Unfortunately, this mentality of the state, which has been preventing the Kurdish question from being solved through democratic methods for more than 40 years and imposing massacres and conflicts on the Kurdish people, continues to exist. Until the then prime minister and now the president of the Republic comes out and explains this incident, everyone is a partner in this crime. Until the officials of the Turkish Armed Forces, the Minister of National Defence, the then Chief of General Staff come out and explain this incident and account for it, everyone is a partner in this crime. They have shared with you in detail how the legal process, or more precisely, how lawlessness and impunity are operated. When it comes to Kurds, neither the Constitution nor the law works. When it comes to the oppressed and exploited of this country, the laws are shelved. There is no conscience left then."

Referring to the ongoing Turkish attacks on civilian areas in Rojava, Hatimoğulları said, "They continue this war by bombing textile workshops and printing houses. Both as the DEM Party and as the political will of the Kurdish people, we took to the streets and said 'those mothers demand peace even though the bodies of Kurdish children are sent to their mothers in a box by post. If the mothers of Roboski, who are here right now, insist on peace while carrying the photographs of their loved ones, while some of them did not even see the body integrity of their children, while some of them witnessed the dismembered bodies of their children, everyone, especially the peoples of Turkey, should get a reality check. They should set a goal to work on peace projects."

Hatimoğulları pointed out that the mentality that massacred the citizens of Roboski continues to massacre the Kurdish people today and said, "The same mentality is trying to silence the voices of Kurds, the left and democracy. In spite of this mentality, we will continue our struggle on democratic ground until the end. Because we owe a debt to those who fell, and we have a responsibility towards the youth. We have a promise to the mothers who cry out for peace, and we will keep this promise. We make this promise once again here at the graveside of 34 Kurdish citizens in Roboski. Our struggle will continue until peace comes to this country. This country has had enough of blood. 100 years ago, these borders were drawn with a pen, and they imposed the claim that Kurds did not exist. Today the same imposition continues. Millions of Kurds live on this side of the border, and on the other side there is the Federal Kurdistan Region. The mentality that imposed these borders on us and drew artificial borders between peoples 100 years ago is the very same mentality that carried out the Roboski massacre. It is also the same understanding that carries out massacres in Rojava today. In response to this mentality, we will continue to struggle for peace, democracy, equality and justice everywhere."

Stating that the seeds of peace sprouted in this geography, Hatimoğulları concluded: "We promise to struggle until each of them turns into a colourful tree in its own language and colour. We promise that peace will come to these lands."