CHP leader calls families of victims on 10th anniversary of Roboski massacre

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Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu spoke on the phone on Tuesday with the relatives of victims of the Roboski massacre in line with his previously announced policy to make amends for the sufferings caused by the state, the Anka News Agency reported on Tuesday.

The incident commonly known as the Roboski massacre refers to the killing of 34 male Kurdish civilians, most of them teenagers, on Dec. 28, 2011, when military jets bombed them after receiving intelligence on terrorists from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the Uludere district of Şırnak province near the Turkish–Iraqi border.

“I hope I will somehow settle all the problems they have experienced. I know how parents feel for their lost children. It is not possible to bring their children back, but we have to make amends,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.

The CHP leader in mid-November promised to acknowledge the injustices of the current and previous governments and make amends for the suffering they have caused various segments of society if his party comes to power in the 2023 elections.

CHP İstanbul deputy Sezgin Tanrıkulu and CHP Ankara deputy Levent Gök accompanied the relatives of the victims of the massacre as they visited the victims’ graves on the 10th anniversary of the incident.

During the visit Kılıçdaroğlu talked to the victims’ relatives on the phone, saying, “It is our duty to stand by, and defend the rights of, the mothers of the victims.”

One relative thanked Kılıçdaroğlu for sending a delegation and said the Roboski massacre should be a priority in Kılıçdaroğlu’s policy of making amends with victimized groups.

“Justice has never visited Roboski, but the glad tidings of justice have come to Roboski. In this regard, we are very pleased,” she said.

People carrying the coffins of victims of the attack in Uludere.

On the 10th anniversary of the Roboski massacre, the families of the victims are still seeking justice since not a single person has stood trial in connection to the tragedy so far.

The civilians were from low-income families in Şırnak who relied on the smuggling from Iraq to make a living.

Turkish government officials promised to bring those responsible for the killings to justice. However, not a single person has appeared in court over their role in the Roboski incident.

In January 2014 a military prosecutor refused to open a case for five suspects in the incident, claiming they were doing their job and that the bombardment of civilians was an “unavoidable mistake.”

When the families took the case to the Constitutional Court, the top court rejected their application on the grounds that they were missing documents.

The families’ search for justice also failed at the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) on the grounds that they had not exhausted domestic remedies.

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