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Turkey's Kurds want explanation, apology for Roboski massacre

The emotional estrangement of Turkey’s Kurds has deepened over Ankara’s failure to bring to account those responsible for the killing of 34 Turkish Kurdish youths in 2011 and the continued imprisonment of Kurdish members of Turkey's parliament.
Kurdish people chant slogans during a march on December 28, 2013 in Istanbul marking the second anniversary of the December 28, 2011 killing of 34 Turkish-Kurdish civilians working as smugglers at the Turkey-Iraq border in a botched raid by Turkish military jets, known as the Roboski strike, that mistook the group for Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militants. AFP PHOTO / OZAN KOSE        (Photo credit should read OZAN KOSE/AFP/Getty Images)
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“Kurds are growing increasingly estranged emotionally to the idea of Turkey’s unity.” This is an observation we have come to hear frequently from Kurdish quarters. Most recently, Aysel Tugluk, the co-chair of the Democratic Society Congress (DTK), drew attention to the Kurdish mood, in remarks at a commemoration held for the 34 youths killed in an air raid at the Iraqi border, mistaken for Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) rebels while smuggling goods from Iraq. “The Roboski incident is a breaking point. The Kurdish people have gone through another period of questioning over the Roboski massacre and become emotionally estranged,” Tugluk said.

The state has yet to give an account of the massacre near the village of Roboski in Uludere district on Dec. 28, 2011. Adding to the tragedy, Miran Encu — the 42-year-old aunt of Vedat Encu, one of the youths the Turkish F-16s tore apart — died of a heart attack at the commemoration. The diagnosis was unanimous: “Her heart could not bear the grief.” Over the past two years, the state has failed to publicly identify a single suspect responsible for the 34 deaths, whereas it was expected to take big steps to uproot the “state-is-an-enemy-to-us” maxim, enshrined in the Kurdish mind ever since the 1937 Dersim massacre, planned for two years in the Turkish parliament.

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