Nine people died and five were injured when a roadside mine exploded on a stretch of road near the village of Geçitli on Sept. 16. Although the PKK did not claim responsibility for the attack, reports from intelligence units suggested that the cause of the attack was a fight for leadership inside the PKK between the terrorist group’s Syrian commander, Fehman Hüseyin, and Murat Karayılan of Turkey.
Cahit Erol, nine of whose relatives, including his son and daughter, died in the blast, will sue both the PKK and PKK Syrian leader Hüseyin, who is believed to have ordered the attack. Erol also plans to file a lawsuit against the Interior Ministry. Erol told the Star daily yesterday that he would soon file the lawsuits.
Erol said almost 40 days have passed since the attack but that his family cannot overcome the pain of losing their loved ones. “My wife still wakes up all of a sudden at night and says ‘Aydın [his son] came.’ Her psychological state is still bad,” he said. Erol thinks he was particularly targeted by the PKK and that the organization must have cooperated with some others in the region.
If Erol files a suit against the PKK, this will mark the first one individually filed against the terrorist group. Many victims of PKK terrorism used to file lawsuits against the Interior Ministry for failing to protect them, and the ministry provided most of them with compensation in the past.
Turkey has lost at least 40,000 people in the fight against the outlawed PKK since 1984, when the terrorist organization was set up with the goal of establishing an autonomous Kurdish state in the eastern and southeastern parts of Turkey. The PKK has been declared a terrorist organization by the international community, including the US and the EU.
Tuğluk plans another visit to İmralı
Meanwhile, Aysel Tuğluk, a former deputy and co-chairwoman of the now-defunct pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP), said in an interview with the Taraf daily yesterday that she plans to visit the jailed leader of the PKK, Abdullah Öcalan, who is serving a life sentence in a prison on İmralı Island in the Sea of Marmara, before the cease-fire announced by the PKK ends on Oct. 31. Öcalan had previously announced that he would give up taking part in the process of a solution to the Kurdish issue if the state does not take steps towards peace. Tuğluk said she will try to persuade Öcalan to continue as an actor in the process. Tuğluk visited Öcalan last month, and she had told reporters after her visit that Turkey is “closer than ever to peace.”
“Öcalan expressed his belief in efforts for the settlement of the Kurdish question within Turkey through peaceful and democratic means. He underlined that his approach to unity is strategic. He also said he will continue his ‘no action’ [by the PKK] period. For him, the government, the state, all political parties, civil society groups, democratic circles and intellectuals should develop a sensible approach in order not to miss the chance for peace,” Tuğluk stated.