Mihrac Miroglu (7) was killed by a Turkish policeman while riding his bicycle in front of his house in Sirnak province in the southeast of Turkey. According to Mezopotamya News Agency, Mihrac died shortly after the crash of an armoured vehicle on 3 September 2021.
“The deaths involving the security forces and the vehicles they use in Kurdish provinces are not accidents but massacres.” said Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) in statement via Twitter.
Mihrac’s death is the latest incident of many, involving armoured vehicles belonging to the Turkish forces in Turkey’s Kurdish populated provinces. At least 40 people, 20 of them children, in the last 13 years have died in armoured vehicle killings. Particularly in Sirnak at least 76 children have been killed via police shooting or armoured vehicles in the past ten years.
Another recent armoured vehicle incident which could make the headlines was killings of siblings Muhammed (7) and Furkan Yildirim (6) again in Sirnak. The siblings were killed while they were sleeping inside their house on 3 May 2017. Omer Yegit, a Turkish policeman who crashed the armoured vehicle into their house almost acquitted on November 2020. The trial was completed last year and the policeman -who lacked a licence to operate the vehicle- was convicted of “involuntary manslaughter” and sentenced to two years and one month in prison. This was later reduced to a 19,000 Turkish lira (£1680) fine. Policeman Murat Maden, who was Yegit’s supervisor at that time, was acquitted of all charges.
Recently a footage of an armoured police vehicle trying to run over children in Batman (another Kurdish populated south-eastern province of Turkey) also created a public outcry. Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) condemned the incident and called on the justice and interior ministries for an official investigation.
At the time an investigation have been launched to the HDP Batman branch for “inciting the public to hatred and enmity” for sharing the footage via social media. (The footage can be reached at: https://twitter.com/HDPElih/status/1366101751007502339?s=20)
There are too many incidents involving armoured vehicles in Turkey’s Kurdish populated provinces and generally there are extraordinary obstacles to bringing perpetrators to justice. Even when a judiciary process takes place, there is a climate of impunity for government security forces.