Turkish security forces killed a taxi driver over alleged PKK link

A forty-five year old taxi driver who had been working in Turkey’s southeastern province of Van lost his life on Thursday after police officers blazed away at his vehicle on the allegations of being a member of the outlawed Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK).

According to a report published by pro-Kurdish Mezopotamya news agency, Zafer Ceyhan was killed by police special operations team in the Yeşilova neighborhood in the evening of September 28th. While the Van Governor’s Office stated that Zafer Ceyhan engaged a combat with the security forces, the family members of Ceyhan rejected the claims over his links to terrorist organization by noting that he was just a taxi driver well known by everyone in the district.

It was also reported that in Ceyhan’s funeral a group of family members were beaten and taken into custody after showing a strong response to the police officers. Ceyhan’s brother addressed a question regarding why the police killed his elder brother, how he is going to account to his nephews. “Should I tell them that the state killed your brother?” asked İbrahim Ceyhan.

In response to the elder brother’s criticism, one of the police officers began to pound up him by asking “Do you think you are great than the state?” It is also told that security officers asked family members: “Why do they recite the sala of a terrorist?”

The victim’s funeral was taken by the family members after the preliminary autopsy was made at the mortuary of the Van Yüzüncü Yıl University Dursun Odabaşı Medical Center. However, the officers in charge did not give them either a coffin or funeral coach. The funeral was first taken to the family house, which was located in the Salihiye neighborhood of Van’s Erciş district, and then it was taken to the cemetery of Seyid Muhammed. At the entrance of the cemetery, the police officers took intensive security measures with armored vehicles told family members that no more than fifteen people can participate in the funeral.

Ceyhan’s colleague, Halit Bagi said that they had been working together for three year, saying “Zafer was a taxi driver who worked with us, there were dozens of cops every day where we work with our friends, and if he was a PKK member then he would be arrested. He had four children.”

Another colleague of victim, Murat Sevinç, reacted to the “terrorist” allegations and said, “He had no connection with an organization. He was working for his children and he had no trouble with anyone.”

Sevinç added that “I saw him in the bus terminal at 7:00. He was working in the same place again. The accusations of alleged involvement with the PKK are baseless. He was my friend.”

Meanwhile, another news story published by Gazete Duvar on the subject of a civilian got severely wounded after attacked on August 31 by an armed unmanned aerial vehicle (SİHA) in southeastern Hakkari province. One of the wounded people İsmail Aydın was released from the Van Yüzüncü Yıl University Dursun Odabaşı Medical Center 28 days later. Aydın had two medical operations on the right arm, and one medical operation on the stomach.

Speaking to the Mezopotamya news agency, Aydın told that four civilians told them do not stop here because it is forbidden. In reply to this statement, Aydın stated that they were just going to eat food. After three to five minutes, he said that there was an explosion. “All I remember was that a bomb exploded on top of us. I opened my eye at the hospital. Those four people who came there by car were also civilian. Who were they? We never know where they came from.”

Aydın also emphasized that the place that they went was Kanikreş picnic area by noting that it was not a forbidden area. “The lamb trimming festival is also held there,” he told.

A Turkish drone attack had killed 1 civilian and wounded 3 others in Turkey’s Hakkari province on early September. According to local reports, 4 men who are said to be local villagers were targeted by an armed Turkish drone near Oglu (Tale) village in Hakkari.

Pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) deputy Nihat Akdoğan has identified the victim as Mehmet Temel, a local from Oglu village. İsmail Aydın, Musa Tarhan and İbrahim Sak were wounded in the attack. Wounded villagers were taken to Hakkari State Hospital and two of them have been in critical condition.

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