The excavations started on Thursday in a search for the remains of Fethi Yıldırım and Hakkı Kaya, who were never heard from again after being taken into custody in 1995 and 1996, respectively. The excavations were initiated after the sites had initial surveys performed on them following the testimony of Abdulkadir Aygan, a former Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) member who said two people were killed in the region and buried near the village of Karaçalı, and upon an appeal from the Human Rights Association (İHD) for an investigation after Aygan's testimony.
Heavy equipment and workers using picks and shovels began digging at a site in Deveboyu on Thursday, but no remains were uncovered. The excavations in Deveboyu and Ziyarettepe yesterday, however, unearthed at least 300 bone fragments. İHD Diyarbakır branch head Muharrem Erbey said the bone fragments will be sent to a forensics laboratory to determine whether they are human.
Yesterday's discovery came shortly after many other bone fragments and pieces of clothing were found during the excavation of wells located in Silopi, Şırnak province, in a search for the bodies of victims who were allegedly murdered by an illegal group inside the gendarmerie. The bones were sent to a forensic lab for analysis to determine whether the remains were human.
"The area we are excavating at the moment was closed to human and vehicular traffic in the evenings by JİTEM members in the 1990s. No one was allowed to pass through this region then, which helped JİTEM carry out its bloody acts. People used to find dead bodies here and there in the area," Erbey stated.
Prosecutor's office launches probe into Anter's killing
The Diyarbakır Public Prosecutor's Office has launched an investigation into six members of the secret gendarmerie intelligence unit JİTEM, whose existence has consistently been denied by officials, over the murder of Musa Anter, a prominent Kurdish journalist and author who was shot dead in September 1992 in Diyarbakır, where he was attending a festival held by the municipal council.
The prosecutor's office ordered that these six JİTEM members be caught and brought before the court. Prosecutors reportedly wish to conclude the case before the 20-year statute of limitations expires.