HDP’s Syriac MP Çelik has prepared a report on Diril couple, who got missing in ??rnak. “Turkey has a criminal record in terms of missing persons, disappearances and unidentified murders. The recent incidents remind us of the 90s,” he says.
Ruken Tuncel ?stanbul – BIA News Desk
The fate and whereabouts of Hurmüz Diril, who got missing with his wife ?imuni Diril, have been unknown for 130 days as of today (May 20).
Living in the Syriac village of Mehri (Kovankaya) in Beytü??ebap district of Turkey’s southeastern province of ??rnak, Hurmüz Diril and ?imuni Diril got missing on January 11, 2020. The deceased body of ?imuni Diril was found by her son Kemal Diril in a streamside only 20 meters away from their village on March 20, 70 days after she got missing.
However, it is still not known what happened to Hurmüz Diril.
The only person living in Mehri village together with the Chaldean couple said that they were abducted by the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). However, this person then changed his testimony and, this time, he said that the couple was alone when they left their home.
But, who kidnapped Diril couple? What about the search operations? Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Mardin MP Tuma Çelik has prepared a report on the incident and shared it with journalists in a video conference.
Çelik has shared the following information with bianet, Pakrat Estukyan from Agos newspaper and Özlem Akarsu Çelik from Gazete Duvar:
‘I don’t think it was done by the organization’
“Based on the information that we have acquired, I can say this quite clearly: I definitely do not think that it was done by the organization. I also do not believe that it was done by the instruction of the state.
“But, the fact that such an incident took place in an area where the state dominates 24/7 and the developments that occurred after that make one think that it was a kidnapping carried out with the ones who lean on the state or groups within the state in one way or another.
‘Turkey has a criminal record in that respect’
“If the state and the authorities there want it, they can bring this incident into the open clearly. If they do not make the necessary effort to bring it into light, then, it means that there is something else going on here.
“Neither the investigation nor the statements about the incident have satisfied us. The fate and whereabouts of Diril couple must be investigated to the end. This missing couple case should not get lost in the dark.
“Turkey has a criminal record in terms of missing persons, disappearances and unidentified murders. The recent incidents remind us of the 1990s. The alleged counter-activities in this case of missing couple, the confidentiality orders issued for the file, the investigations not opened and the contradictory witness statements all leave a question mark in minds.
‘There is an attempt to prevent returns’
“It is an area where Syriac people live. There are Syriac villages in Beytü??ebap, ??rnak. Almost all of these villages were evacuated by the state in conflict periods. With the beginning of the de-escalation period and peace process, Syriacs have started to return to their own places of residence, they have taken steps to do it.
“We have the impression that some – presumably – powerful people within the state are preventing this from happening. The villagers, our people, including a priest, were previously detained and arrested in this area. We think that it is also a result of this policy. There is an attempt to prevent the Syriac from returning to their own living spaces.”
Some highlights from Çelik’s report on the Diril couple are as follows:
The first official statement about the incident was made by the Governor’s Office of ??rnak on January 16, 2020. The Office said that the search operations were underway despite unfavorable weather conditions. One day later, on May 17, the Beytü??ebap Public Prosecutor’s Office issued a confidentiality order on the file.
‘No answer from the Ministry’
On February 11, the HDP brought the issue into Parliamentary agenda and requested the establishment of a Parliamentary Investigation Commission. The Ministry of Interior has not yet responded to this request.
On March 20, the deceased body of ?imuni Diril was found in a streamline, which was searched by the family for several times before. Her body had lost its physical integrity and it was understood that she died long before she was found.
‘Forensic medical report not yet issued for two months’
It has been two months since the dead body of ?imuni Diril was found; but, a detailed forensic medical report has not yet been issued on her death. When her family ask about the report, they refer to the pandemic as the reason for delay. If no search is conducted, the forensic medical report is not issued and there is a will to make the report forgotten, then, it gives the impression that some powerful persons try to hide this incident.
‘No traces of Hurmüz Diril found yet’
The Governor’s Office of ??rnak made a statement on May 2 and announced that wide-scale search operations were conducted from April 28 to 30, but no traces of Hurmüz Diril were found during the searches.
In a statement by the People’s Defense Forces (HPG), a military wing of the PKK, it was denied that the couple was abducted by the PKK. “Two civilian citizens were kidnapped and massacred by 3 people conducting contra-operations in the region and these people threw the bodies of civilian citizens into Hêzil water,” the statement read.
Not the first loss of Diril family
This incident is not the first loss of Diril family. After the Mehri village was forcibly evacuated in the 1990s, ?lyas Diril (12) and Zeki Diril (16), the grandchildren of ?imuni Diril’s paternal uncle, were detained while trying to return to their village. Their fate and whereabouts have been unknown since then. The investigations launched into the incident ended in non-prosecution. The family applied to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) and the ECtHR has convicted Turkey.
Losses in Kurdish provinces not brought into light
It is extremely natural that one gets the impression that negligence in bringing the missing person cases in Kurdish provinces is deliberate. In the recent period, the cases of Diril couple and Gülistan Doku are only the examples that can be brought to public agenda. Every single day when the state does not bring the fate and whereabouts of these missing people into light is a loss for the democracy of Turkey as well.