Tuesday, January 17, 2012

'3,000 buried in mass graves in Turkey'

Ozturk Turkdogan, the chairman of Turkey's Human Rights Association

Source: Press TV

The chairman of Turkey's Human Rights Association says that there are at least 3,000 bodies buried in mass graves in the country and most have not been excavated yet, Press TV reports.

In light of the enormity of the issue, a center should be established to excavate remains from the graves, based on international regulations and standards, so that clues that could help identify the victims and those responsible for the killings will not be damaged, Ozturk Turkdogan told Press TV on Tuesday.

Several sets of human remains were recently discovered in mass graves in the southeastern city of Diyarbakir.

The remains were reportedly found in an area where a building formerly used by the Gendarmerie Intelligence Anti-Terrorism Unit (JITEM) is located.

It is widely believed that numerous unsolved murders in eastern and southeastern Turkey in the 1990s were committed by JITEM, mostly as part of the campaign against the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

Turkdogan says that the remains found in Diyarbakir should be used in the investigations of the thousands of unsolved murders of the 1990s.

“Forensic experts can determine when the people buried in the Diyarbakir mass graves were killed. Then they can find the military and security officials responsible (for the killings),” Turkdogan said.

To solve the case of the mass killings, all that is needed is determination on the part of the government, he added.

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