Relatives of 3 killed shepherds break their silence

Roj TV, Denmark
Feb 5 2005

Relatives of 3 killed shepherds break their silence

No case has been opened for 11 years after 3 shepherds who were
killed in Varto, Muþ in 1994 by the Special Forces teams.

Abdurahman Tekal, father of Suphi Tekal who was reportedly killed
along with two shepherds; Mehmet Kýlýç and Izettin Tekal after taken
into custody, stated he informed the governor’s office, gendarmerie
station and prosecutor’ office about that who had been killed by
special forces teams are shepherds and, he became paralyzed from
tortures he had been exposed. Huseyin Kýlýç, elderly brother of
Mehmet Kýlýþç, says: “This cruelty must be punished and justice
should be implemented into practice. This is savageness which a human
cannot do to the other. We demand those who are accountable for that
cruelty to be penalized.”

It is asserted that the special force teams called “Tansu’s soldiers”
who established themselves in Varto Clinic held a military operation
covering Karapinar (Xerepungar) village of Varto, Muþ in August 1994,
and detained Mehmet Kýlýç, Suphi Tekal and Izettin Tekal, shepherds
who had been residing in the village cited and executed them by
shooting in Kuru Gol arean nearby Arpa Upland called ‘Varé Ce’. The
security officials took off shepherds clothes, dressed their robed
them in guerilla dresses and laid down 3 Kalashnikovs by the bodies.

Huseyin Kýlýç, Mehmet Kýlýç’s elderly brother, pointing out the
special force teams took reporters to the spot and told them they had
killed 3 guerillas after incident said: “After showing the bodies
with guns to press as if they had been guerillas, the special force
unites brought funerals to Muþ State Hospital. Upon this, we applied
to the Governor’s Office Varto and Varto Gendarmerie Headquarters
telling the 3 who had been murdered by the special force staff are
shepherds and requested the incident to be revealed. Afterwards,
while were going to Muþ Public Prosecutor’s Office, we were stopped
and threatened to be killed by some armed people dressed in plain
clothes. They wanted us to make depositions that who had been killed
are ‘terrorists’. I answered them: One of died persons is my brother
having 6 children. Since his financial situation was not good, he had
been shepherding for his livelihood. He is not a terrorist.”

Kýlýç expressing they did not permit us, me and other shepherds’
relatives, to go in prosecutor’s office after taking our ID cards and
threatened us to kill saying “If you see the prosecutor, we kill you
as others” said he and the relatives of the 2 killed shepherds were
handed over to a sergeant major. “We were taken out of the
administration of justice by him and told ‘The funerals are in Muþ
State Hospital. Go and receive the corpses there.

Prosecutor: I can do anything

“I and other families returned back to the administration of justice
after walking around for a while and presented a petition bearing the
statement those who had been killed by the special force units are
shepherd to the prosecutor. We requested the funerals to be delivered
us, hereupon; prosecutor said ‘ I cannot do anything’. Indictment
after autopsy alleges that the dead are terrorists who caught killed
after in an armed conflict with troops. After prosecutor’s attitude,
we went to hospital and received the funerals.”

”Difficulty in defining the bodies’

The corpses were unrecognizable reporting Kýlýç said he could
identify his brother from his nose and hair. “The day when we take
the bodies from the morgue, a person dressed in plain clothes who was
calling on the phone called me and asked me to come on the phone. The
individual who was talking on the phone introduced him self to be the
commander of air operation and offered his condolence to me. He said
‘ Come to see me when you received the funerals, so I asked the
person dressed in plain clothes to tell where the commander of air
operation was. The former told me ‘You cannot talk to the commander
of air operation’, swearing at me and added ‘ If you strive much, we
will send you along side them’. We take the delivery of funerals and
turned to our village.”

Military operation on the village

After we took the bodies to the village, a wide-scope military
operation was held over the residence, and the special force units
gathered all the villagers on the boulevard, insulted at and tortured
them. After undressing dwellers, the security officials dragged
villagers on thorns “Militaries wanted to force us to say ‘Died
people are terrorists’. They started to beat us with rifle butts
after getting us down out of vehicles. ‘You burry those Armenians in
these holy grounds’ they told us. Calling imam to come by themselves,
they said ‘Priest, are coming here to pray for these Armenians’. They
ordered all the villagers as well as women and children to lie down
and we waited so for an hour. After they went, we stand up, buried
the funerals and applied to Varto Public Prosecutor’s Office. The
prosecutor asked me why I didn’t come to make the application before.
I answered him I had been afraid of the troops. Then, he said ‘I will
call you later’, but has never done so up to now. This cruelty must
be punished and justice should be implemented into practice. This is
savageness which a human cannot do to an other. We demand those who
are accountable for that cruelty be penalized. The state should not
have done this cruelty to its own citizens” said he.

Father Tekal: They made me paralyzed with torments.

Abdurrahman Tekal recording he became paralyzed due to bruelty
tortures told DIHA what was lived on the incident day as such: “That
my son’s a few sheep had got lost. He and his shepherd friends go
outside the village to look for the animals. The special force units
had come to residing place, too, and they detained him. We were at
home that time. Later some villagers came and told ‘Tansu’s soldiers
brought away your son’. The militaries were killing my son and 2
shepherds more in the evening. We were oppressed too much after the
event. I became paralyzed because of that bad treatment and
pressures. He was killed after 7 months he got married. The
militaries killed our children cutting them into pieces. They must
give the account of what crimes they had committed.”

Application to the ECHR

Selahattin Kaya, the shepherds’ attorney, said he appealed to the
European Court of Human Rights ( ECHR) but the case was rejected
because of incomplete means of domestic laws and added: ” We will
apply to prosecutor’s office for a case to be litigated against the
criminals, an if denied, we will appeal to the ECHR.”