ANKARA, Turkey – Police arrested Kamil Atak, former mayor of the south-eastern town of Cizre, as part of a probe into the alleged killings of Kurds by Turkish security forces in the 1990s, media reported on Sunday (March 22nd).
Police nabbed him in a raid late Saturday in the province of Mardin, near the Syrian border, and brought him to Diyarbakir for questioning. Last week, police detained Atak’s two sons and three other people for possible involvement in the killings.
The police arrested them after investigators found nearly 20 pieces of human bone at an excavation site in Cizre. The remains are believed to belong to Kurds who went missing in the area during a terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)-led insurgency in the 1990s.
The probe began last month, amid allegations by Kurdish activists who said the Turkish security forces dumped the bodies of executed Kurds into oil wells filled with acid or buried them alongside the road linking Cizre and another south-eastern town, Silopi.
In other news, media reported on Friday that Turkish state radio would launch Armenian-language and Kurdish-language channels in “two to three months”. The move is part of Ankara’s efforts to normalise relations with neighbouring Armenia and to boost the cultural and democratic rights of its large Kurdish minority.