A 5-year-old boy died after being hit by an armored vehicle in southeastern Turkey’s Hakkari province on Wednesday, the Kronos news website reported.
E.A. was waiting with his mother on a roadside in Yüksekova when the vehicle crushed him to death.
The killing of civilians by military vehicles is common in Turkey’s Southeast, where there is a heavy military presence due to ongoing clashes between the Turkish military and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Rights groups and experts have called on security authorities to end the uncontrolled use of armored vehicles in cities and residential areas, saying they are a threat to civilians.
According to Nahit Eren, chair of the Diyarbakir Bar Association, soldiers involved in accidents with armored vehicles are seldom punished. “Drivers are rarely sentenced to prison time, while some only receive a fine,” he said. “This causes the soldiers driving these vehicles to behave recklessly.”
Eren urged parliament’s Human Rights Committee to conduct a thorough investigation into deaths caused by armored vehicles.
According to a report published by the Diyarbakir Bar Association last year, 49 people including 20 children have been killed by armored vehicles in Turkey over the past 10 years.