Human Rights Association (İHD) and Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (HRFT) have issued a joint statement on July 9, 2018 expressing that the armed conflict that had been reignited in Turkey’s Eastern and Southeastern regions since July 24, 2015 has been increasingly deteriorating, that we, as human rights organizations, were often forced to prepare reports and issue statements regarding human rights and humanitarian law violations pertaining to the environment of armed conflict and raised our concerns.


Nurcan Karakaya and her 11-month-old son Mustafa Bedirhan Karakaya have lost their lives due to the detonation of an explosive device planted on the road on their way back from a military outpost located in the military base zone in Hakkâri’s Yüksekova district. We condemn the perpetrators of this heinous attack and extend our condolences to the family and their loved ones.


We would like to ask the competent authorities: How can a civilian car enter a military base zone without taking any security measures and how can it return as such? How was it possible for late Nurcan Karakaya to be permitted to leave Yüksekova in spite of the fact that this military base zone was accessible only through military armored vehicles is well-known? The liability of those who have permitted a woman and an infant to travel by a civilian car under high risks within an armed conflict zone shall not be disregarded. An investigation should also be launched against public officers who have acted in negligence or at fault in this incident as identified at the end of an effective investigation. The perpetrators should be found and held accountable before law by all means.


The rhetoric of the government and the pro-government media employed after this tragic and unacceptable incident is rather dangerous. This rhetoric is one that targets a segment of the population, is discriminatory, otherizing, and criminal. Turkey suffered a great deal because of such rhetoric in the ‘90s. The same mistake should not be repeated. Rhetoric and acts that would completely destroy social peace should be avoided.


Turkey should immediately be drawn out of the environment of armed conflict and the process leading to peace should be reinstated. Let us bless life, not death.