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Turkish army accused of throwing Kurdish farmers from helicopter

Allegations that Turkish soldiers took two Kurdish farmers up in a helicopter and threw them out fit a broader pattern of operations against the Kurdistan Workers Party in rural areas.
A photograph taken on October 22, 2011 shows a Turkish military helicopter flying over a mountain in Yemisli, in the Hakkari province, near the Iraqi border in southeastern Turkey.  Turkish air strikes killed 23 Kurdish villagers in the southeast near the Iraqi border early on December 29, 2011 an official of the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) said. Provincial officials found 23 bodies at Ortasu village in Sirnak province, councillor Ertan Eris told pro-Kurdish Roj TV from the bombing site. Nin

Turkish prosecutors have begun to investigate allegations that a pair of Kurdish farmers were brutally beaten and thrown out of a military helicopter in the southeastern province of Van on Sept. 11 in a case that has recalled the horrors inflicted on locals at the height of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) insurgency in the 1990s.

Images of the bloodied faces of Osman Siban, 50, and Servet Turgut, 55, circulating online have provoked an uproar in the Kurdish community, with lawmakers from the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) demanding that a parliamentary commission be set up to investigate the affair. Turgut is in critical condition in a hospital in Van. “My father is in a coma. He has brain trauma, 11 broken ribs, a punctured lung and doctors say his chances of survival are poor,” said Turgut’s only son, Huseyin in a telephone interview with Al-Monitor. “We demand justice but the state wants to bury the truth, to cover it up,” he said.

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