Turkish court acquits police officer who ran over, killed child with armored vehicle 

A Turkish court on Jan. 16 acquitted the police officer who ran over and killed 7-year-old Mihraç Miroğlu with an armored vehicle in the southeastern province of Şırnak. The court found the child at fault in the accident and acquitted Metin Kiraz of “involuntary manslaughter.”

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A criminal court in Turkey’s southeastern Şırnak province on Jan. 16 acquitted police officer Metin Kiraz for killing 7-year-old Mihraç Miroğlu by running him over with an armored vehicle in September 2021. 

The court ruled that 7-year-old Miroğlu was at fault in the accident, and police officer Kiraz was acquitted of “involuntary manslaughter,” according to reporting by Kurdish news outlet Rudaw

Miroğlu was killed on Sept. 3, 2021, as he was riding his bike on the streets of İdil district, where Miroğlu's family said that armored police vehicles were moving very fast when they were patrolling. The family of Mihraç and an eyewitness had filed a criminal complaint to the Gendarmerie in Şırnak’s İdil district. The police officer was released after questioning.  

The prosecutor pointed to the forensic report in its opinion and defended that Officer Kiraz was driving “slowly,” without specifying the exact speed at the moment of the accident. Miroğlu was the primary negligent party in the accident, maintained the prosecution, and requested Kiraz’s acquittal. 

After the incident, deputies from the then-Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) criticized the impunity of police officers and questioned the concentration of child deaths by armored police vehicles in Kurdish-majority provinces. 

According to a report prepared by the Diyarbakır branch of the Human Rights Association (İHD), armored vehicles caused the death of 45 people in a total of 63 accidents in the last 15 years. 

The majority of the Kurdish region was the site of an intense military crackdown after the breakdown of peace talks between the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and the government. The Şırnak Governor's Office on Feb. 16, 2016, enacted a curfew in the province, which has remained heavily militarized since.