EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: EUR 44/39/94
UA 195/94 "Disappearance" 19 May 1994
TURKEY Havva Ta_demir, female, aged 14
Sabiha Ta_demir, female, aged 15
Zozan Tekda_, female, aged 15
Asiye Banisi, female, aged 19
Mehmet Tekda_, shepherd, aged 58
The five people named above have "disappeared" after being detained on 16 May
by gendarmerie (soldiers carrying out police duties in rural areas) in their
village Yukar_ Duru (Kurdish: Derkam) in the province of Diyarbak_r. The
following is an eye-witness account:
"On 16 May 1994 our village, of 30 families, was raided in the early hours
of the morning by nine military vehicles full of soldiers who came up the road
from Duru village. As soon as they entered the village, they made us all come
out of our houses. They then began to drag our things out of the houses. They
searched the houses very carefully but found nothing. We saw some of the solders
take something out of their pockets and leave it in the houses. We didn't
understand what it was, at first, but when they said, `We have found leaflets
in your houses' we understood what they were up to.
They began to set the houses on fire, one by one. They also burned the village
school and the schoolteacher's lodge. They then took four girls from the village:
Havva Ta_demir (14), Sabiha Ta_demir (15), Zozan Tekda_ (15), Asiye Banisi
(19) and the village shepherd Mehmet Tekda_ (58) and put them at the fork to
Comala_ village. At about 9am the soldiers took another group of about 100
women and children and put them on the other side of the village, near Talhe
Xale Hesen stream.
At evening time, about 20 military vehicles, which we assumed to be from Lice
gendarmerie post, came as reinforcements. They did not let the children or
women drink from the stream, even though they were thirsty. Later that evening,
at about 8pm they took away the four young women and Mehmet Tekda_. The soldiers
behaved as if they were really enjoying themselves, they were clapping.
After they had gone, we returned to our houses. It was a terrible sight. All
the houses were burned until they were uninhabitable. They had left nothing
for us to wear or to eat. There was nothing apart from a few bits of furniture.
Two of us were able to get away. The other villagers cannot leave the village.
We have heard no news of those who were taken away."
Another eye-witness has stated that the five detainees had been put in an
eight-wheeled armoured vehicle which later that evening was seen waiting in
front of the gendarmerie post in Duru village. By that time it was dark and
it was not known whether they were unloaded there.
On the morning of 19 May the mothers of the "disappeared" girls were reported
to be sitting outside the Gendarmerie Headquarters in Lice in search of news
of their daughters.
Very intense security force activity is reported in the area between Bingöl,
Lice and Diyarbak_r, with 16 deaths and three "disappearances" of villagers
reported to the Human Rights Association in Diyarbak_r since 26 April 1994.