It has argued over the years and told the Kurdish youth that groups or individuals acting on behalf of the state had committed brutal murders in the region. This propaganda had remained influential up until the decision by the state to reopen the files on the unsolved murders. The rule of law was observed, and prosecutors in Diyarbakır started reviewing the cold cases, most of which have not been investigated for years. All unsolved murders were included in the review process. Complainants petitioned the courts. People implicated in these murders started to answer before the law. For instance, Col. Cemal Temizöz, whose name most frequently pops up in the discussion on the unsolved murders, was removed from office; he is now being tried as a suspect. He still remains in custody.
Eyewitnesses, informants, state officials, the relatives of the victims of unsolved murders… Everyone is now telling what they know about these murders. It should be noted, however, that some of the eyewitnesses have withdrawn their previous statements, but the justice mechanism is still operating. In conjunction with the statements, excavations were started; bodies were exhumed.
Amid all these developments, the circles close to the PKK, which has focused on the unsolved murders for so many years, chose to remain silent during this process. The pro-PKK political party [Peace and Democracy Party (BDP)], which uses every opportunity to put on a media show in support of the terrorist group, did not even budge to interfere in the proceedings of this case. Aside from a few symbolic statements, the supporters of the terrorist organization did not make any substantial moves regarding the process.
Based on this general outlook, I drew the conclusion that the supporters of the PKK were not sincere in their actions. Turns out I was wrong. They were actually considering one aspect of the issue that none of us recalled, and this is why they were staying silent. It became evident that not all of these 17,000 unsolved murders were committed by individuals who argued they were acting on behalf of the state. How am I drawing this conclusion? It is quite simple.
According to a recent report published in the press, the prosecutors who were investigating the unsolved murders concluded that some of these heinous crimes were committed by the PKK. The judicial authorities, who held that nearly 8,000 murders were committed by this organization, are reviewing all the cases. The files actually reveal strong evidence of and information on the members of the organization who were executed because they were trying to escape, the militants who were declared agents of the state and others who were killed just because they were observing their religious duties and practices. And these arguments are not based on some suspicions. The judiciary, which reviewed all of the evidence and allegations, has acquired concrete and reliable evidence and accounts of eyewitnesses.
In fact, the execution of undesirable militants within the PKK was no secret at all. This practice has been known of for years. For instance, the PKK murdered Hikmet Fidan, former deputy chair of the People's Democracy Party (HADEP), to send a message. Even very close friends of his did not attend his funeral. Leyla Zana and Orhan Doğan, who paid a visit to his relatives to offer their condolences, refrained from condemning the murder. Kurdish intellectual Orhan Miroğlu, provides a sufficient amount of evidence of how the PKK put pressure upon the people of the region. And in fact, the people did understand the silence of the Kurds. All were aware that the PKK, relying on Stalinist methods and measures, was acting brutally against the people of the region. And there was no visible actor or power that proved to have the ability to address the PKK's brutality.
Now, this is changing; the state is identifying the suspects within the state and taking them to the courts. The state officials of the time are now being held accountable for what they did in the 1990s. Something new has emerged during this process: The murders committed within the PKK are also being investigated. This means that those who remained silent during the probe into unsolved murders in the region knew they would be put on the line in the future as well. What does the execution of 8,000 militants mean? Is there any more brutal organization in the world? Is it possible to believe that such an organization would bring and promote democracy, peace and freedom?
The Quran puts this eloquently: He who kills one man kills all men. Regardless of whether or not the murders were committed on behalf of the state or the PKK, prosecution of the unsolved murders, identification of the suspects, conviction of the culprits and proper legal action would renew confidence and trust in justice; and this will also offer some condolence to the relatives of the victims. The brotherhood of peoples could be realized by such an action; and only in this way could lasting peace be achieved; only in this way could a democratic and free future be attained.