Mar 30 2018

Monument to massacre victims demolished in Nusaybin

A statue commemorating 16 citizens who lost their lives during celebrations of the Kurdish Spring festival in Nusaybin, a town in southeast Turkey, has been demolished by government-appointed administrators, the Susma anti-censorship platform reported on Thursday.

Kurdish citizens in Turkey celebrated Newroz, the Kurdish spring festival, in 1992 during the height of conflict between Turkish armed forces and separatist insurgents from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party. Dozens were killed after a severe intervention by security forces in Cizre, a town on the Turkish-Syrian border around 90 kilometres east of Nusaybin.

Citizens in Nusaybin organised a march to protest the killing. After the group ignored police warning and staged a sit-in protest in the town centre, security forces opened fire on them, killing 16.

A monument to the victims of the 1992 massacre was erected in the area in 2013; witnesses of the incident came to watch its construction “from the early hours of the morning until sunset,” Turkish news site Evrensel reported.

However, five years later, the monument has been demolished, to be replaced by a clock tower. The decision was reportedly made by one of the “trustee” administration appointed by the government after elected municipalities with alleged links to the PKK were removed from office.