Press Statement of IHD Diyarbakir Branch: Mine and Military Dud go on to threaten security of life and property of peoples’ and environment

Dear Press Members,
For a lot of settlement areas in our region are mined areas, most of people can’t deal with agriculture and husbandry freely, keep on their lives twitchily.Not only mines, but also PAMs (military dud) always explode on the bin of Military Stations and in settlement areas on the hands of children and this cripples or murders them.

At first, the antipersonel mines were planted to the shared borders of Armenia, Iran and Iraq and then of Syria in 1956-1959 to hinder the illegal border transgressing; and then with the start on the conflicts in 1984, this time these mines were planted to domestic areas. The Ottowa Declaration dated on 5 October 1996 was signed by Turkey on 25 September2003.The armed branch of Kurdish Labour Party (PKK) and the following groups declared that they concluded to use mines by signing Geneva Call Treaty in july,2006. (

Despite of all these treaties, in Turkey, particularly in our region people are still die or cripple because of dud and mines. Nobody says ‘STOP’ to this. According to the recorded reports of branches of HRA in the East and SouthEast Anatolia Region; In the year 2000, 20 have lost their lives by stepping upon mines, 37 have been wounded. In 2001, 13 dead ,39 wounded ; in 2002 , 27 dead, 53 wounded ; in 2003, 19 dead, 37 wounded; in 2004, 18 dead and 46 wounded and 17 great cattle ruined; in 2005, 48 dead and 72 wounded; In 2006, 30 dead, 147 wounded; in 2007, 15 dead and 54 wounded people have been determined. And during the first six months of 2008, by the mines and post-war pieces of explosives 12 people had died ,23 are wounded, and 15 small-cattle were ruined. I want to share two applicantions which belong to victims who are subjected to bombs when they were try to feed their animals. İt shows us that during the increasing of the operations not only the mounts and unmanned areas but also settlement areas, houses, barns and cellars are subjected to bomb attacks.

Zülfikar TAŞ, who applied to our Branch on 27.06.2008 declared as follows below:

“ We dwell in village Uç kuyu belonging to Kulp administrative district within the province of Diyarbakır. Uç kuyu is 30 kms far from Kulp. We make a living out of farming, great-and-small cattle raise. Approximately, for a month, in Şenyayla ( Goreş District ) we have put up about 15 tents and do animal raising, and graze our animals there. And got a legal written document from Gendarmerie General Command of Kulp to set up our tents. Early on 26th of June, we were a little away from Şenyayla District, and suddenly a big explosion took place. After that,we went near our animals. And in order to preclude 15 small-cattle being ruined, we had to kill them and we sent the useful flesh to people we are familiar with. For 5 goats ( small-cattle category ) were dead on explosion, we left them off there.

We recorded the event via cameras for a while. We know that, sometimes the soldiers come and stay here, make operations. People come here only when they need to. There are places maden by adding up stones. There are lots of cans near these places. There is only few (3-5) meters between the explosion and theses places. We also determined unexploded mines around here. They can be easily realized. We recorded them via camera. We earn our keep by husbandry. We are afraid of feeding our animals now. We can step upon a mine and die, too. We are victims, I demand you to start the judicial procedures.

Sait MENTEŞ, who applied to our Branch on 04.07.2008 declared as follows below: The soldiers who came to Mıho hamlet of the village Yolçatı belonging to Genç administrative district within the province of Bingöl, in the spring of 2008 settled in an area that is 10 km far away from our village. They established a station in there.Almost everyday and anytime they fired at around from the station randomly. The villagers are anxious about that. Sometimes they fire at to the rocks by a helicopter and disturb people around 23.00. There are a number of unexploded bullets and bullet casings around the village. Harrasing fire is fired from the station and this disturbs villagers. At last, on 03.07.2008 around 22.30 three bomb had fallen over the village. One of them fell nearly 4 meters away of my house. There was kitchen in there and it was destroyed. I have no idea about the kind of the bomb. If it was a bit nearer, it would destroyed my dad’s house and kill all the family. Still there are the pieces of the bomb on the field. The area that soldiers settle is in Mıho hamlet of the village Yolçatı belonging to Genç administrative district within the province of Bingöl.

According to the places found in (Goreş District), in village Şenyayla belonging to Kulp administrative district it is defined that the mine exploded in area that were soldiers there for operations. The soldiers had abandoned there without cleaning the mines that they were planted for their security. The soldiers who settled in Mıho hamlet of the village Yolçatı belonging to Genç administrative district within the province of Bingöl fire at village from the station that they established 10 km away from the village, want to compel people to get away from their villages and disturbe them. There are lots of unexploded pieces and bullets in village.

We have videos / photos after the two of the events. We will present them to you on a CD. As being Human Rights Association, we are insistent on our denizens leading a sustainable, normal life. The denizens, under the warrant of the government, have no expectations except returning to their yards and fields and try to make a living out of it. However in two events, because of the illegal and unresponsible behaviours of military units denizens can’t deal with agriculture and husbandry. These peoples’ lives are in danger. To plant mines is a crime against humanity. To plant mines which cause peoples dead and crippled, to bomb the settlement areas of villages is against laws and international aggreements.The families who are staying in hamlets belonging to Genç and Lice administrative districts are in danger. The removing of mine is done by a expert group consisting of 461 people belonging to General Staff. We want General Staff to send its groups to these mined areas and remove them.

We have demands as; the mines and military duds must be removed; they must stop to fire at villages randomly, they must recover the victimhood of the villagers who are tried to immigrate by force, has no alternatives except dealing with agriculture and husbandry and suffered from hunger and misery.

Muharrem Erbey, Lawyer
The Chairman of Branch

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