The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) have presented a report concerning deaths resulting from crimes in the period since the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) came to power in 2002, revealing that 241 children under state protection were murdered over the course 12 years, crimes for which the perpetrators have not been found. Report VEDAT DENİZLİ / ANKARA
In a joint press conference in Parliament on Thursday, CHP İzmir deputy Rıza Türmen and CHP Deputy Chairman Sezgin Tanrıkulu announced official figures from the report. Türmen stressed that most of the children who were later killed had grown up in an atmosphere of violence in earlier periods of their childhood.
Tanrıkulu argued that the state has the blood of the children on its hands, adding, “The government is responsible for the deaths of children.”
“The state is killing the children whom it in fact has to protect. The state is a killer of these children, and those who murder them are protected by the state mechanism. The security forces involved in the acts are under the protection of the state apparatus. They are not punished for what they have done. Since they go unpunished, they do not hesitate to resort to more violence against children. To top it all off, the government empowers the police force with additional authority that will result in the use of more power against individuals, which will make those individuals feel weaker in terms of seeking their rights,” Türmen complained.
Tanrıkulu also criticized the ruling AK Party, saying a “hunt” is being carried out against children, a reference to recent deaths in the Cizre district of Şırnak province.
Şırnak is a troubled area where the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and radical Islamist Hüda-Par — a Kurdish Sunni party linked to Turkish Hizbullah — engage in frequent clashes. The government has been criticized for remaining silent in the face of the incidents in an effort to prevent the eruption of Kurdish unrest prior to general elections scheduled for June.
He recalled that five children had been killed in Cizre in a single month, adding: “No perpetrators have been found in connection with the killings. The government should get rid of the policy of impunity for offenders. In a place where the right to life is non-existent, no other basic right can be discussed.”
Tanrıkulu also stated that 520 people had been the victims of extrajudicial killings, while the number of those who were killed under detention or while in prison was 451 over the same period.
According to the report, 208 murders remained unsolved since 2012 as only eight murders went unsolved 2002. This figure increased to 58 in 2014.