One refugee killed, 12 others injured in gendarmerie shooting in eastern Van

Turkish gendarmerie have opened fire on a minibus carrying refugees for allegedly "disobeying stop warnings" in the eastern province of Van, leading to the death of a refugee and injury of 12 others.

Salih Sertkal / DUVAR

Turkish gendarmerie on July 3 opened fire on a minibus that was carrying refugees in the eastern province of Van near the Iranian border.

As a result of the shooting, one refugee was killed and 12 others were injured. Eyewitnesses of the incident said that the deceased was a four-year-old child.

Van Governor's Office released a statement regarding the incident and argued that the gendarmerie opened fire on the tires of the vehicle because the driver "disobeyed stop warnings."

The statement further argued that the driver of the minibus refused to stop and "drove towards the gendarmerie personnel."

“It was determined that the vehicle was used in migrant smuggling and that it had 40 irregular migrants in it. Unfortunately, one immigrant lost their life due to the ricochets, and 12 irregular immigrants were slightly injured,” the governor's office's statement read.

The statement did not specify whether the dead refugee was a child.

Witnesses of the incident said that 40-50 shots were fired at the minibus, Ruşen Takva from the online news portal T24 reported on July 4. 

“Apart from the dead, two more people almost died. Some were shot in the shoulder and some in the foot,” T24 quoted one villager as saying.

The neighborhood head (muhtar) Kemal Tosun also talked about the incident, saying: “One person died and 12 got injured. Four people were seriously injured. There were 52 people on the bus in total. 22 people escaped. The gendarmerie opened fire twice. 40-50 shots were fired in the first round [of shooting]. The same number of shots in the second round.”

(English version by Alperen Şen)