A 14-year-old child was killed while one person was seriously injured when Turkish soldiers opened fire on villagers who were doing border trade in the southeastern province of Hakkari.
Vedat Ekinci, the 14-year-old boy’s body who was killed in the attack was sent to the Hakkari State Hospital for autopsy. The wounded villager was also sent to the hospital for treatment.
Pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP)’s MP for the Hakkari province, Sait Dede, told Bianet news portal that the incident took place between 4 and 5 pm local time on Thursday.
Sharing the video footage of the moments right after Ekinci was shot, Dede promised in a tweet that they will follow the legal process in order to make sure that the perpetrators of the incident are punished.
Hayatının baharında olan Vedat Ekinci’yi (14)katledenleri ve yine bu katliamlara sessiz kalanları, coğrafyamızı kana bulayanları lanetliyoruz!Askerler tarafından gerçekleştirildiği açık bir şekilde görünen olayın faillerinin cezalandırılması için hukuki sürecin takipçisi olacağız pic.twitter.com/oQtCPzBv55
— Dr. Sait Dede (@DrSaitDede) August 1, 2019
“We condemn both those who killed Vedat Ekinci in the prime of [his] life and those who remain silent in the face of these massacres,” Dede underlined, referring to the Turkish government.
“A 14-year-old child named Vedat Ekinci has been killed by fire from a helicopter in Hakkari. Roboski Massacre continues!” Garo Paylan, another lawmaker from the pro-Kurdish HDP, said on his Twitter account.
Paylan was referring to the incident of the Uludere airstrike, more commonly known as the Roboski massacre where 34 smugglers, mostly teenagers, were killed in Sırnak province near the Turkish–Iraqi border on December 28, 2011.
The pro-Kurdish Mezopotamya News Agency (MA) reported on Thursday that the soldiers fired from a helicopter of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) in Cemekurk village in the Derecik district of the predominantly Kurdish populated Hakkari province.
“Five people go [went] in the morning and they come back [returned] on the same day. On their way back, soldiers open [opened]fire on them. Villagers say the fire was opened from land and close distance,” Dede added.
“Border trade has been done there before. Both state and the soldiers, everybody knows this. Besides, these people have no other source of income. Eighty percent of their relatives live on the other side of the border,” the lawmaker explained.
The Hakkari Governor’s Office said that Turkish soldiers opened fire after a stop warning in an area two kilometers afar from Derecik district where “the terrorist organization uses intensively.”
The governor’s office further argued that the fire opened by the soldiers was in order to warn them, however, Ekinci was injured from a bouncing bullet “because the terrain is rough and rocky.”