Faysal Sariyildiz at UN / ANF
Left-wing Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) Şırnak deputy Faysal Sarıyıldız spoke at the 33rd session of the Human Rights Council at the United Nations today.
Speaking on the 5th day of sessions, Sarıyıldız described his experiences in Kurdish town Cizre, where more than 100 people were killed alive across three basements and said, "The deaths in Cizre are not the result of simple clashes. They are the result of human rights crimes. They are signs of the intent to burn alive and exterminate a whole people."
Delivering a short message, which he said was on behalf of the people of Cizre to human rights workers and institutions, the member of parliament accused the UN of keeping silent as the killings in Turkey's Kurdish southeast continued.
Read Sarıyıldız's message below.
"Writing poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric said world-renowned philosopher Theodor Adorno. As the sins of Auschwitz, even after many years, continued bleeding the spirits of its victims and disturbing humankind;
"In February 2016, Derya Koç connected via telephone to live television and said, “They doused 20-25 injured people with petrol and burned them alive in the basement moments ago. Now they are going to burn us, 25 people, on the 1st and 2nd floors.” A week later Derya’s corpse was handed to her family.
"State forces killed 257 people, at least 24 of them children, during the 79-day curfew in Cizre, where I am the Member of Parliament. 143 people, among them university students, artists, politicians and journalists, took refuge in three separate basements in Cizre to escape tank shelling. We shared the names and addresses of these people with state and government authorities, despite this, the Turkish government, as the whole world looked on, set these people on fire.
"Earlier, on January 20th, soldiers had fired on a large group on its way to recover injured people ambulances hadn’t attended to. I was among that large group. 2 people were killed and dozens injured. The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights said the incident was alarming and needed to be investigated urgently. Nothing was done and despite all our efforts to save the civilian people in the subsequent basements of atrocity, the international community looked on silently. If diplomatic pressure had been put on the Turkish state, those people who were burned alive might be with us today.
"The deaths in Cizre are not the result of simple clashes. They are the result of human rights crimes. They are signs of the intent to burn alive and exterminate a whole people.
"As a representative of my people, I was among them during the Siege of Cizre. I knew most of the people who were burned alive in those basements, their corpses turned to ash. I am here today for them and for all my people. I still carry the smell of burning flesh on me. Still today, there are corpses that cannot be identified because they have been burned to smithereens. I was there and witnessed the most diabolical savagery in the history of the Turkish Republic.
"The UN’s request to send a delegation to investigate the incidents in Cizre has still not been responded to by Turkish authorities. They want to hide the truth. It was humanity that was burned alive in Cizre; I want to remind you of this.
"Even though the truth always has a funny way of coming out, you must play an active role in making this happen. This has to be our foremost duty. Otherwise the conscience of humanity, which constantly bleeds, is going to continue disturbing us.
"A final note; we have written and audio records of communication with the 143 people burned alive in the three basements, we also have footage of their body parts and corpses being cast away into rivers by the state’s construction machinery as well as records from the funeral carriages carrying corpses."
- Kurdish Question
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