Turkish prosecutors launch probe into Kurdish villager thrown out of military helicopter

Osman Şiban, one of the two Kurdish villagers thrown from a helicopter by the Turkish army, is facing charges of "being a member of a terror organization.” The prosecutors' indictment accused Şiban of providing “logistical aid” and “living materials” for the PKK in rural areas of Van and Şırnak.

Osman Şiban.

Duvar English

Turkish prosecutors have launched an investigation into Kurdish villager Osman Şiban who was pushed out of a military helicopter on Sept. 11, 2020.

The Van Chief Public Prosecutor's Office accused Şiban of being a “member of a terror organization” and their indictment was accepted by the Van 5th Heavy Penal Court, Mezopotamya news agency reported on Dec. 6.

The Van court ruled that it was not authorized to look into the case due to Şiban's city of residence and sent the case file to a court in the southern province of Mersin.

The prosecutors' indictment accused Şiban of providing “logistical aid” and “living materials” for the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in rural areas of Van and Şırnak.

The indictment said that the area around Şiban's house had been monitored by unmanned aerial vehicles on the night of Sept. 9, 2020 and claimed that “an unusual human mobility had been observed” in the images.

The indictment also included the statements of an informant who claimed that top PKK officials Murat Karayılmaz and Mahsun Korkmaz had conducted a meeting in Şiban's house in the 1980s.

The indictment considered Şiban's statement of being thrown out of the military helicopter as "an attempt to be cleared of the crime.”

Servet Turgut and Şiban were detained in September as part of an operation targeting PKK in Van. They were thrown from an army helicopter, prompting outrage among human rights groups. 

While security forces claimed that the men were injured as they were trying to escape and told the hospital that the injuries were a result of "falling from a high place," Şiban gave a detailed account of how they were tortured. 

Turgut, meanwhile, died shortly after the incident.