Turkey’s strictness in relation to the murder incident in Mardin

Turkey serious in the case of deadly attack on Duhok families.

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Turkey’s Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu on Monday told a delegation from a Kurdish political party based in the Kurdistan Region that they are serious in the prosecution of suspects who have been arrested in relation to the recent death of five people from Duhok province in the Kurdish province of Mardin in southeast Turkey (Northern Kurdistan), the party cited Soylu on Tuesday.

Five people from two Duhok families visited Mardin earlier this month. CCTV footage, published by Turkish media, showed that a vehicle was following the families before they were all shot dead on a highway. One of the families, consisting of two people, visited Turkey for medical treatment while the other three people wanted to visit relatives in the country. Some of the victims died at the incident scene while others succumbed to injuries at the hospital. They were buried in Duhok province.

Turkish police initially detained six suspects after the incident but later released two of them. The remaining four were officially arrested days later. Kurdistan Region authorities have handed a complaint to the Turkish consul general to Erbil regarding the incident.

A delegation from Kurdistan Islamic Union (KIU), led by its Secretary General Salahaddin Bahaaddin, was received by Solyu in Ankara on Monday. The Islamic party has strong ties with Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

“In the meeting, which lasted for an hour, the secretary general thanked the interior minister for following up and determination to find and arrest the criminals,” Bahaaddin said in a statement on Tuesday.

Soylu told the Kurdish politician that he will continue following up the case until it reaches a conclusion, added the statement.

Luqman Baskederi, head of KIU relations in Turkey, who attended the meeting, told on Tuesday that Soylu “expressed his seriousness and talked about the steps they have taken,” adding that the minister also promised that the case will not be ceased.

Mohammed Rashid is the relative of one of the victims. He told earlier this month that Turkish authorities were initially not serious in the investigations but “after seeing that it is being taken seriously by the media and the [Kurdish] government they became faster [in the investigation].”

Turkish media has published footage, recorded by CCTV and thermal cameras, purportedly showing how the perpetrators monitored the two families and killed them in Mardin.

This is not the first time that the residents of Kurdistan Region are being attacked in Turkey.

A Kurdish family from Erbil was attacked in Mersin province in May 2021 while holidaying in Turkey. The family claimed that they were assaulted by nationalist Turks for their ethnic identity. No one was jailed over the incident.

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