Following a demand from Parliament's Dersim sub-commission, the General Staff sent the documents it had to Parliament. Officials said that after the documents are organized, they will be opened to domestic and international researchers.
The General Staff declined a request from Hüseyin Aygün, a deputy from Tunceli who wanted to participate in the documentation process together with 13 academics and researchers.
“The documents, which are arranged in an organized way, have been sent to Parliament's Petition Commission. The Dersim documents will be presented to the domestic and international researchers following their indexing,” said a statement from the General Staff.
Aygün reacted to the response of the General Staff, saying that it holds the primary responsibility for the Dersim massacre.
“The General Staff, which has the greatest responsibility for the Dersim massacre, acted irresponsibly by rejecting the participation of independent researchers in the indexing process. This attitude is far from meeting the public's expectations regarding the opening of the archives,” he said.
The notorious Dersim massacre took place in 1937 in the historically semi-autonomous Dersim region, in a brutal reaction to an alleged rebellion led by Seyyid Rıza, the chief of a Zaza tribe in the region. The government of the time responded with air strikes and other violent methods of suppression. It is estimated that as many as 70,000 Kurdish Alevis were killed in Dersim between 1937 and 1938.