Another Kurdish Youth Shot by Turkish Police



During protests to commemorate the execution-like killings of three Kurdish activists in Paris on January 9, 2013, clashes erupted in the Cizre district of Şırnak in North Kurdistan (southeastern Turkey) which led to Turkish police shooting and injuring yet another Kurdish youth, this time the 18-year-old Mehmet Elçi.

According to Dicle News Agency, Kurdish youth lit fire to buildings when power was cut during the clashes.

Only 13 days into the new year and a number of Kurdish protesters and civilians have already fallen victim at the hands of the Turkish police and with recent law proposals in parliament intended to strengthen the power of police, it seems like these killings are just the beginning.

On Tuesday (December 6), another Kurdish minor was killed during clashes between Turkish police and Kurdish youth in the Cizre district. 14-year old Ümit Kurt was killed when he left a construction site where he was helping a friend.

Prior to the confrontation Kurdish protesters had dug trenches in neighbourhoods to impede the police’s arbitrary arrests of civilians. The holes were later filled up following the municipality’s instructions and the police was able to enter the Cudi neighbourhood  where clashes erupted.

A 28-year-old man was also injured during the police shooting and was brought to the hospital.

According to Emirhan Uysal, head of the local branch of the Human Rights Association (IHD), the autopsy indicated that Ümit Kurt was shot in the back.

“The police entered the neighborhood with armed personnel carriers from the side where the filled-in trenches are. There was no incident, protest or crowd in the area, but according to the district governor, police fired when they saw armed people with masks.”

According to reports, Ümit Kurt had not covered his face but was simply leaving work when he was shot.

Emrah Karakuş, who Ümit Kurt had come to help with work, gave a chilling description of what happened that evening:

“All of a sudden the power went out and dozens of armored personnel carriers entered the neighborhood and opened fire randomly. We didn’t understand what had happened so suddenly. Ümit fell to the ground. We brought him to hospital, but he died.”

Ümit was buried on Wednesday.