House raids in Zorava: Villagers were used as shields

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  • 16:40 21 September 2023
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AMED - Many houses were raided by soldiers in the Zorava District of Sur district, and the villagers who pointed their guns were used as shields. Tacettin Kardaş, one of the citizens, stated that the raids were torture and called on human rights organizations.
Some houses were raided early in the morning in Zorava District of Sur district of Amed. During the raid, which was carried out with a large number of armored vehicles and soldiers, citizens were not allowed to leave their homes, citing the curfew, and entry and exit to the neighborhood was prohibited.
The houses of Tacettin Kardaş, Cahit Eren, Mürsel Bahtiyar, Mehmet Bahtiyar and Hayrettin Kardaş were raided on the grounds that they were "being members of a terrorist organization" with an anonymous tip. During the raids, citizens who had their guns pointed at them were used as shields and the belongings in their homes were distributed.
Tacettin Kardaş, one of those whose houses were raided, said that there has been this pressure on them since the 90s. Kardaş explained today's raid as follows: “They raid every 2-3 months. This is a psychological pressure on the family, a policy of bringing them to their knees. Early this morning, at 04.30, they surrounded the village and announced that they had declared a curfew. There was a knock on my door around 05:00. They came with shields, and when I opened the door, they pointed the gun at me and said, "Get out, get out." I went out, they asked who was at home and asked me to take them out too. They gave my son Karker their phone and asked him to take videos of all the rooms in the house. Karker took a video of the whole house and gave it to them.”
Stating that soldiers used Karker as a shield after the soldiers and went through the rooms one by one, Kardaş said: “Soldiers searched all the rooms, there were also underground imaging devices. They couldn't find anything. They said they came upon notice. They said that the secret witness called them online. So, due to such false reports, my house is raided every two months. Sometimes it doesn't take 40 days but it's dominant. It's just psychological pressure. They blockaded the whole village. According to secret witness statements, 'the member of the organization was walking around the village with a gun.' A member of the organization does not come and walk around Zorava with a gun. We were asked whether we hid this person, whether we saw him. We said that such a thing was unfounded. After their search, they lifted the blockade and left. My son was among the 400 people taken with clear witness statements in the operation carried out before the election. There have been raids on me and my house since the 90s. My wife got depressed due to these raids."
Karker Kardaş (23), who was used as a shield, said: “There was pressure on my father since the 90s, they were constantly raiding our house and mistreating us. They raided our house early in the morning and pointed their guns at my father and me. Afterwards, they gave me a phone and asked me to shoot everywhere. I pulled it out and showed it to them, then they used me as a shield and showed me around all the rooms. This is psychological pressure for me. Their weapons were always pointed towards me. There was a high probability that the gun's bullet would explode and hit me. We want these pressures to end."
Stating that they are doing this to us because they are Kurds, Kardaş said: "They say, 'These are Kurds, we can attack them.' There is nothing wrong with us, they are tormenting us for no reason. We do not accept that they do this to us."
MA/ Eylem Akdağ - Şilan Çil