The Civilian Shootings On the Rojava Border Are Unacceptable

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Those who allow and look away from border violations and as Al-Nusra and Al-Qaeda members cross the border between Turkey and Syria to practically turn the region into a logistics base for themselves have shot an innocent Kurdish civilian mother crossing the border to Turkey in front of her two kids.

On May 19, the military personnel started an open fire on a family from Derik, Rojava [in Syrian Kurdistan] trying to cross the border to Turkey to Cizre province of Şırnak. The family had noticed the soldiers at the checkpoint and waved at them and declared that they wish to cross to Turkey, however the army responded with fire from a military vehicle that murdered 28-year-old Saada Darwich in front of her two kids of ages 6 and 7 and her husband.

On the same day, Ali Özdemir, who had crossed the border to visit her grandfather in Turkey fifteen days ago was also shot on sight while trying to cross the border back to Dirbesiye, Rojava. The 14-year-old kid who was shot in the head has gone blind.

These two shootings are not the first ones. On several occasions other civilians have also been shot on sight near the border by the military.

The government insists on neglecting the will of the Kurdish people of Rojava. The government chooses to follow policies of aggression against the Kurdish people who have set up their own democratic cantonal regime in Rojava and have shown the will to struggle against the war, oppression, border closings and the diplomatic pressures against themselves.

The government who refuses to recognize the Kurdish peoples’ struggle to build a free and democratic future does not want the region to democratize.

Despite the government’s practices, we are determined to strengthen our peaceful relationship with the people of Rojava. We recognize the importance of Rojava for the development of democratic regimes both in Syria and in the Middle East.

The peoples of Rojava who border Turkey are not enemies but instead friends of the peoples of Turkey. The Kurdish people in Rojava are relatives and brothers of the Kurdish population in Turkey. Those who wish to break the ties between the Kurdish peoples of these two countries by the construction of walls and setting up mines on the border or by shooting those who try to cross the border will not succeed.

An investigation must be launched to determine those who have shot these woman and child civilians on the border and those responsible must be brought the justice.

Saruhan Oluç
HDP Vice Co-chair
May 19, 2014

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