HDP's preliminary report on the attack in Suruç

HDP's preliminary report on the attack in Suruç

The preliminary report by our delegation on the attack in Suruç that happened on 14 June 2018:

THE INCIDENT

On June 12, 2018, a quarrel began and ended without any violence between Esvet Şenyaşar and his children, who have worked as shopkeepers behind the Suruç Municipal Building for 25 years, and AKP deputy candidate İbrahim Halil Yıldız, who came with his companions to Şenyaşar's workplace as part of his election campaign.

On Thursday, June 14, 2018, candidate Yıldız and his relatives came to the workplace of the Şenyaşar family once more. The verbal argument erupted into violence this time, with candidate Yıldız and his companions using long barreled weapons and pistols to attack the brothers Adil, Celal and Ferit Şenyaşar.

As a result of this attack, Esvet Şenyaşar’s sons Adil and Celal, got wounded and taken to the emergency room at Suruç State Hospital, while Ferit, his other son, was taken to Balıklıgöl State Hospital in Urfa city center. Esvet went on foot to visit his sons in Suruç State Hospital.

Following the instructions of AKP Urfa candidate Yıldız, his relatives first vandalized the security cameras, and then they slaughtered Esvet Yaşaroğlu's sons, one of whom was under treatment in the emergency room, and the other of whom was in front of Suruç State Hospital.
Esvet was beaten with an oxygen tank. Severely injured, he was taken to 25 Aralık Hospital in Gaziantep, where he lost his life on 15 June during the burial of his children.

DELEGATION

A delegation within our party has been set up, consisting of vice Co-chair and Batman Deputy Ayşe Acar Başaran, Adana Deputy Meral Danış Beştaş, Diyarbakır Deputies Nimetullah Erdoğmuş and Sibel Yiğitalp, and Urfa deputy candidates and vice Co-chair of DBP (Democratic Regions Party) Hacer Özdemir. On Friday, June 15, 2018 they went to Suruç to investigate what transpired. The information gathered by our investigating delegation is as follows:

Visiting the crime scene, our committee observed that there were security cameras that could clearly see the area where the incidents transpired, as well as government surveillance cameras that can view 360 degrees, and the security cameras of surrounding businesses. The aforementioned information was confirmed by many customers and shopkeepers who were present on the day of the incident.

HOW IT HAPPENED

On the 14th of June at 15:30 on Bir Milyoncu Street, İbrahim Halil Yıldız, AKP Urfa parliamentary candidate, visited with shopkeepers, accompanied by his delegation and his armed guards. At this time, he entered a shop named Istanbul Bargain Market, owned by shopkeeper Esvet Şenyaşar and his family. His son Celal was inside the shop while his other son, Adil Şenyaşar, stood at the door.

When Parliamentary Candidate İbrahim Halil Yıldız requested to enter the shop, Adil replied, "There are women customers inside, please don't enter, the customers are uncomfortable. At this, Yıldız replied, "Do you think we are without honor, is that why you won't let us in?" Both sides began to argue and an unnamed guard for İbrahim Halil Yıldız slapped Adil.  As the argument escalated, a bullet was fired into Adil Şenyaşar's leg by one of the guards.

Meanwhile, the candidate's friends and relatives continued to attack Adil Şenyaşar with a club and a knife. During this time, Adil Şenyaşar's brother Ferit Şenyaşar, who was in the adjacent shop that also belonged to the family, came to the scene when he heard that his brother Adil had been shot, and along with the candidate İbrahim Halil Yıldız's brother Mehmet Şah Yıldız, Celal Şenyaşar was injured. The wounded were taken to Suruç State Hospital. When the wounded arrived to the hospital, candidate İbrahim Halil Yıldız's brother Mehmet Şah Yıldız was pronounced dead.

In addition, relatives of the candidate came to the room where Celal Şenyaşar was being treated and killed him with knives and other sharp objects before the doctors' eyes.  Adil Şenyaşar, the other person injured, was shot and killed with a gun inside of the hospital, in front of nurses and doctors. Meanwhile, Esvet Şenyaşar, the father, came to the hospital only to face a lynching attempt by the relatives of the candidate İbrahim Halil Yıldız at the hospital emergency entrance, where he was hit in the head with a piece of metal resembling a pipe. The candidate's relatives also broke the cameras at the hospital and tried to destroy the evidence.

Although efforts have been made to use witness statements in connection with the incident, many witnesses did not want to give a name for fear of their own security.

According to a witness who was at the hospital during the incident and declined to give their name: "At 5 pm I went to the hospital to visit a relative. At that very hour I learned that those wounded were brought to the hospital, and the the hospital was very crowded inside and outside. Because everybody knows each other in Suruç, the relatives of İbrahim Halil Yıldız, who is an AKP parliamentary candidate from Şeyis village, suddenly filled the hospital. There were many riot police at the door as relatives of the candidate entered the hospital, but the police did not prevent them from entering. I did not enter the hospital at that time because I was afraid, but there were voices coming out to the outside, shouting in Kurdish, "me guşt, me guşt" (We killed them, we killed them). The sounds of gunshots came from inside. And they began to applaud. They opened fire in the air. After they fired into the air, the police warned the group and told them to disperse. When the group did not disperse, the police fired into the air. The police did not detain anybody in that moment."

In a statement by an employee at Suruç State Hospital, who declined to give their name, they said: On the day of the incident, at 15:50, an injured person with the surname Yıldız was brought to Suruç State Hospital, and when we arrived, AKP candidate İbrahim Khalil Yıldız was at the hospital. There were police in the hospital and in the courtyard. Then, at 16:00, we brought another wounded person whose status was not critical to to the hospital in the center of Urfa. After I returned to Suruc, Celal and Adil had been transferred to other hospitals; however, supporters close to the Yıldız family who had gathered in the hospital courtyard did not allow them to be transferred. They seized the keys to the ambulances, they shot the tires and punctured them, they broke the front and rear windows of the ambulance, they threatened the driver with death, and they beat him. This group even beat up a soldier at the scene, breaking his nose. Although MP Esref Fakibaba attempted to calm them down in order to appease them, he was unable to do so.  Although Esvet Şenyaşar came to the hospital on foot, he was attacked by supporters of the Yıldız family, who hit him in the head with an oxygen tank in the yellow area of the emergency room.  When  Esvet Şenyaşar's head was crushed, the blood that sprayed from his head covered the wall of the yellow area of the emergency room. This area was painted late at night, after the traces of blood had been cleaned up. I saw that the cameras in the emergency room had destroyed, and I also saw that the prosecutor arrived at the emergency room where the incident took place around 2:00 in the morning.

The owner of a neighboring shop who also did not want to give their name said the following in his deposition: They had in fact been coming to the place where our shops are for the past three days. They came on June 13th, as well, and we as shopkeepers said to them, we're not voting for you. The next day they came with a bigger crowd, as if they had made preparations. They came with close to 30 men. They asked us to collect the yellow/red/green buckles and canvases and accessories that the shopkeeper had distributed. During this time an argument took place. The AKP MP's men slapped my friend. Then the argument escalated. The shopkeeper didn't have a gun but they grabbed their guns, and Celal and Adil tried to protect themselves with clubs and knives. This incident was witnessed by the police, the civil police were watching. We couldn't even properly bring the wounded to the hospital.

According to Servet Gören, District President of the Republican People's Party: "AKP parliamentary candidate İbrahim Halil Yıldız and his siblings entered a hat shop. When the shopkeeper reacts to the situation, a fight with weapons broke out. They attacked too. The father and son who were taken to the hospital were slaughtered there."

According to information that the Turkish Medical Association received from the local sources; no security measures were taken at the hospital after the incident, no study was conducted by the public prosecutor's office to collect evidence on the case in a reliable manner, all the places in the hospital emergency room that had turned into war zones, no precautions were taken in order to preserve evidence of the incident, the cameras were destroyed, and a group of 100-150 people came to the hospital and brutally attacked the wounded. Some of the wounded had their throats slit with sharp objects, some of the wounded were smashed with oxygen tanks and fire extinguishers, and some of the wounded were shot.

These descriptions have been confirmed by many shopkeepers who were present at the incident but did not want to reveal their names. The information provided to our delegation by eyewitnesses of the lynching attempt at the hospital who did not want to disclose their names is extremely appalling.

The camera records that showed how the father and his son Celal were murdered in the hospital were not preserved. Traces of blood in the emergency room were cleared before the crime scene investigation team arrived. The blood stains on the walls were hastily cleaned and repainted, and efforts were made to remove the evidence. In interviews with hospital employees, the delegation also noted that they had been threatened and did not want to talk.

During the lynch attempt at the hospital, the Urfa Governor, Suruç District Governor and Minister Eşref Fakıbaba was identified by eyewitnesses outside of the hospital building. At the time of the incident, the Urfa Governor himself told our MP Nimettullah Erdoğmuş on the phone that he was at the hospital.

While the information provided to our delegation by eyewitnesses is appalling, the hate speech used by the pro-government media and the discourse of the government is just as troubling. We call upon all bar associations and human rights organizations, especially the Human Rights Foundation, to conduct an investigation and to continue to follow the incident.

16 June 2018