Hacı Bişkin / DUVAR
The lawyer of a Kurdish man whose dead body was dragged behind an armored vehicle in the southeastern province of Şırnak in 2015 has taken the case to the Constitutional Court following a five year impasse.
Hacı Lokman Birlik was shot during the operations targeting the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and was alive when apprehended, but died when he was dragged behind an armored vehicle on Oct. 3, 2015 in Şırnak's Dicle neighborhood. The incident became one of many instances that shed light on the human rights abuses in the Kurdish majority provinces.
Although five years have passed since the incident, many questions remain unanswered on the case. Birlik's lawyer Ramazan Demir has said that Birlik died as a result of disproportionate use of force.
According to the lawyer, their demands to investigate how Birlik died fell on deaf ears.
"Since no investigation was launched into the shooting of Birlik, the crime scene was not investigated, evidence was not collected, witness testimonies were not taken, the weapons used were not looked into and the testimonies of the security forces were not taken," Demir told Duvar.
"Six prosecutors that handled the case since the beginning have never tried to look beyond what security forces say," he added.Turkish police prevent family of man died after soldiers' torture from accepting condolences
Demir said that the testimonies of the security forces are not realistic.
"The main focus of the investigation is the fact that the footage of the dragging was shared on social media. On which issue the prosecutor's office is carrying out an investigation is unclear at the moment," Demir said, adding that they took the case to the Constitutional Court for this reason.
Who is protecting Birlik's killers, HDP asks
Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) deputy Nuran İmir, meanwhile, submitted a parliamentary question with the demand for Justice Minister Abdülhamit Gül to answer on why no progress was made on the case.
"Why are the perpetrators not tried? Who are the protectors of the perpetrators?" İmir asked.
In her question, İmir reminded the minister that majority of the commanders that were involved in the anti-PKK operations at the time, which saw grave human rights abuses, were arrested over being followers of U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen.
"Who is protecting Birlik's killers when majority of the operation commanders were arrested over FETÖ?" İmir asked, using an abbreviation for the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization - the official name of the Gülenists.
The deputy also asked the reason for why no answers are given to the parliamentary questions that have been submitted on the issue over the past five years.Police victim's father to be tried over 'terrorism' after court overturns acquittal ruling in Turkey's Şırnak