Two soldiers killed by fellow soldier in 2007, not by PKK, website claims

February 22, 2011, Tuesday/ 17:52:00/ MUSTAFA GÜRLEK

A letter recently posted online on has claimed that two soldiers who were pronounced dead in May 2007 after clashes with terrorists were actually killed by a sergeant.

According to the letter, posted anonymously, privates Ayhan Demirci and Servet Yıldırım were killed by Sgt. Serdar Kaplan, who was on night watch in the Bestler-Dereler region of Şırnak province, which borders Iraq. The sergeant reportedly thought the two privates were terrorists. The sergeant shot at the soldiers and killed them.

However, the facts regarding the deaths of the two privates were covered up by military authorities, who eventually announced that Demirci and Yıldırım were killed by members of the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) during clashes.

Demirci’s father, Kamil Demirci, said he was “horrified” when he read the letter on the website. He also said he will file a criminal complaint against the military authorities who covered up the facts about the deaths of the young soldiers. “I will also send a letter to the president, the prime minister, the chief of General Staff and the interior minister to find out the facts about the death of my son,” he noted. Yıldırım’s brother Mehmet Yıldırım also said his family will take necessary action against the responsible figures in the days to come.

In the letter, the author stated that he had witnessed all the details regarding the killings of the two privates and added that he has been unable to sleep well since the incident because his conscience is not at ease.

“Our battalion was deployed in a rural area. Sgt. Serdar Kaplan’s assignment was to observe the region. He then said he saw some people in the darkness of the night. The commander of the battalion, Maj. Emin Uğur Özaçık, speaking via walkie-talkie, told him to shoot. Kaplan hesitated for a moment, but the commander insisted that he shoot at the targets. The sergeant then started to fire shots at the targets. We then heard men moaning. Unfortunately, they were two of our colleagues. Furthermore, there were no terrorists in the region,” the letter read.

The author also said military higher-ups concocted a scenario the following day to portray the two soldiers’ deaths as a result of clashes with terrorists.

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