After it became apparent that HPG guerrilla Alican Erikmen, code name Şervan Koçer, had been executed after being captured, the people came out onto the streets in Van city to protest, closing Cumhuriyet street to traffic.
BDP Van provincial chair Musa İtah read out as press statement to thousands of people, after which the people shouted "martyrs are immortal" and marched to the BDP building. As they neared the building the people were attacked by the police with tear gas, plastic bullets and water cannon.
The people responded with stones and clashes broke out.
The crowd stoned a nearby police station.
Many people were injured during the police attack on the people in front of the BDP offices. Amongst the injured was BDP Van provincial chair Musa İtah, who was taken to hospital in an ambulance. Many people were reported to have been arrested.
Earlier in the day a Human Rights Association (IHD) delegation went to the scene of the incident in Başkale district.
IHD, All traces of military activity erased
The Human Rights Association of Turkey (IHD) made an investigation at the scene after a guerrilla lost his life near the Iran-Turkey border in the Başkale district of Van. The IHD delegation said that contrary to the statement of the chief of the general staff, the incident had occurred 5 km from the border, near the hamlet of Dirîsk (Sualtı). The IHD delegation said that all trace of soldiers had been erased. Recalling that a lieutenant who was appointed to the Sualtı military post one week ago had threatened local people saying: “don’t go to the high pastures, I don’t recognise the resolution process or anything like that”, the delegation emphasised that the incident could have been an attempt to provoke the resolution process.
The delegation consisted of IHD MYK (executive council) members Necla Şengül and Vetha Aydın, the chairperson of the IHD Van branch Ersin Biricik and a member of the IHD Van branch council Savaş Avcı issued a press statement and shared the report with the public.
Biricik stated that when the delegation arrived at Başkale district, the attack by the police on the people was continuing. He said that although they requested to meet the district governor and chief prosecutor, they left the building and no meeting took place.
He said: “whereupon, we went to the area where the PKK guerrilla was killed. Our first evaluation was that the scene was 5 km from the border, and approximately 4 km from the Sualtı border military post, it is proved that the incident occurred 100 metres from the village school.” He also stated that they investigated the hillside 100 metres from the school.
He added that there were signs of dragging and blood stains for around 50 metres.
The delegation also met with the villagers and shared the results of the meeting, “the incident occurred between 23:30 and 00:30, the armoured vehicle was at the area for a long time and hid itself. A new lieutenant, appointed one week ago, had threatened the people by saying ‘don’t go to the high pastures, I don’t recognise the resolution process or something like that. It can be understood from our observation and the statement of the villagers that at 8:00, the soldiers cleaned the area, then the area was watched by the soldiers. Finally, according to the statement of the villagers, the prosecutor and security officers didn’t carry out a crime scene investigation.
Biricik stated that “we suspect that the incident was not at the border, it was clearly a targeted killing. We have concerns that this incident may have been organised in order to create a provocation while the legal momentum has increased for the peace process. We want the officials to reveal who was responsible and to carry out a full investigation.
Biricik added that they will share the detailed report with the media.