'Yesterday there was JITEM, now there are many other structures'

ŞIRNAK - Stating that the paramilitary structures established after JITEM aimed to prevent Kurdish movement in the region with the crimes they committed, IHD Co-Chair Eren Keskin said, "These paramilitary structures are free to do anything while civil society considered to be terrorists."
The impunity policy implemented in Turkey for crimes committed by state-related perpetrators not only encourages the perpetrators, but also causes new violations of rights. While those responsible for thousands of murders committed by the state and state-affiliated paramilitary groups in the region in the 90s are still not punished, the practices carried out through JİTEM in the 90s are still carried on through different “civilian” organizations today. While discussions about SADAT, one of the similar organizations, continued, Eren Keskin, Co-Chair of the Human Rights Association (İHD), made evaluations about the paramilitary structures operating in the region.
Expressing that the lands they live in, are the lands of the dead without graves, Keskin said that a lot of crimes are committed by the state in this geography. Underlining that these crimes committed by the state go unpunished, Keskin said, “We are faced with many crimes that have not been investigated since 1915, even before the founding of the Republic. Comparing the past and the present, we see that the state used to deny the attrocities they commit and the impunity continued, however today, the autorities, especially the Ministry of Interior proudly presents the right they violate. This is what we must focus on."
Noting that there are many paramilitary structures today, Keskin said, “We used to know about the existence of JİTEM and we would make criminal complaints when necessary. But now there are some structures we don't even know the names of and that we know are committing crimes. It is not possible to explain these paramilitary structures only with SADAT. The Ottoman Greywolves Association, which emerged recently, is an example of these. There are many other structures besides these, and how did these structures emerge and how were they armed to the teeth?These paramilitary structures are free to do anything while civil society considered to be terrorists. They can commit crimes as they wish. Women are murdered by members of these structures. Children are killed by armored vehicles and the perpetrators of all these crimes are concealed."
Expressing that these paramilitary forces were deliberately revealed by the state, Keskin said, “The main reason for these paramilitary structures, whose headquarters are unknown and not recognized by the society, is the policy of intimidation. This is a policy to terrify the society. Especially in the region. The aim is to scare people away from democratic politics. In addition, there is a great pressure especially on women. Very recently, Sakine Kültür was murdered by a member of one of these structures. Again, the head of the MHP Diyarbakir province was arrested for child abuse. If that child had not file a complaint, maybe other children would have been exposed to this violence. The fact that these structures can commit crimes so freely is the main issue we have to deal with."

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