They shouted ‘dirty Kurds' and beat him to death

They shouted ‘dirty Kurds' and beat him to death

A young Kurdish man, Mahir Çetin, has died of a brain haemorrhage after being attacked by a group of Turkish racists in the Kaş district of Antalya province.

Mahir’s cousin, Vedat Çetin, who witnessed the attack on 3 September, said a group of between 20-30 people had attacked them, shouting “dirty Kurds”. Mahir Çetin’s father, Abdulsamet Çetin, said only one person had been arrested and that they would pursue the case.

Attacks by racist gangs on Kurds in Turkish provinces are continuing. Mahir Çetin (20) and Vedat Çetin, who worked in a hotel in the resort of Kaş, were attacked by a group of between 20 and 30 racists on 3 September. Mahir Çetin suffered a brain haemorrhage as a result of receiving violent blows and died. Vedat Çetin was knocked unconscious after being hit on the head with a beer bottle.

Mahir Çetin was taken to the private Lokman Hekim hospital in the district of Fethiye in Muğla province, where he could not be saved and his body was sent to the morgue at the Muğla Forensic department for an autopsy. The post mortem report indicated that Çetin had died as the result of a brain haemorrhage caused by a blow to the head. Following the autopsy the body was handed over to the family and it was taken to the village of Sinan in Batman province and buried on 5 September.

7 people were taken into custody by police in Kaş after the incident, but after statements had been taken only one attacker, named as Mehmet Ali Çakmak, was formally arrested.

'They attacked us, calling us dirty Kurds’

Vedat Çetin said that while chatting to Mahir, his cousin had spoken to one of the group that subsequently attacked them, thinking he was an acquaintance. At this the person reacted strangely, and an argument broke out, which ended when Mahir apologised and the person left the scene. However, a short time later the person came back with a large group and approached them.

Vedat Çetin said the group immediately began to punch and kick them, and that there were soon 20 to 30 people involved. Çetin added: "they attacked us, swearing at us and saying 'dirty Kurds'. I tried to protect Mahir but I fainted when I was hit on the head with a beer bottle. Then I lost my cousin.”

Çetin said no one had come to their aid, adding that no weapons were used in the attack, but said: “they attacked us because we were Kurds.”

Çetin is angry that only 7 people were taken into custody and that only one was formally arrested, adding that the Turkish media had reduced the size of the mob that attacked them. He said that CCTV footage would show the size of the group.

'We will not give up on this'

Abdulsamet Çetin, the father of Mahir, said that they would apply to all legal channels to ensure all the culprits were punished. He also said he would take legal action against some of the press that had endeavoured to justify the actions of the aggressors.