February 2016: Mehmet Tunç had made a call to the European Parliament from the basement they had taken refuge in:
“The situation is not like how it is portrayed in the media. There is a massacre in Cizre; we are faced with genocide. All the houses have been bombed, tanks are being used. Weapons that are used against enemies are being used against its own people by the AKP government and Turkish state. There is a tragedy in Cizre. For 60 days now the people are without bread and water. Only 10 thousand from a population of 120 thousand have remained. The state has forcefully displaced the people. Similar policies were implemented in the 1990s. 4 thousand villages were razed to the ground and the people were moved to places like Cizre. They depopulated the villages to finish off the PKK. Now they are depopulating cities and saying it is to finish off the PKK.
This is certainly a tragedy in Cizre. 28 people were injured in a house in Cizre. 5 of the wounded died of blood loss. There is no water left. We leave the building to get water and are shot by snipers. We cannot exit. The four storeyed building has been completely destroyed with mortar attacks. I am inside that building now. The situation is critical. That’s why I am calling on our friends there. Please stop this savagery. You are strong enough to stop this massacre in Cizre. You are strong enough to warn the AKP government and lift the siege on Cizre. Failing that you will also become accomplices to the massacre here.”
A few days ago Mehmet Tunç spoke to a TV station from the basement of a second building in Cizre, where many injured people had been trapped. “These maybe my last words to you,” he said and continued:
“We are face-to-face with a second Madımak Hotel massacre. This is the shame of humanity. The wounds of the massacre in 1993 haven’t healed yet and here 30-40 people are burning to death. Smoke has filled the building and flames are starting to enter. Before ambulances fire brigades urgently need to come here and extinguish the fire. There are people who have lost their limbs; there are children, heavily wounded people. They are all going to burn alive. I have no doubt that this is going to be a shame hanging over all of Turkey, all of humanity and the United Nations. At the moment there are at least 37 people here…
At the moment we are awaiting death. When this building collapses humanity is going to be left under rubble. They will not be able to account for this…
I am addressing the Kurdish people now. This is a struggle… You must all keep your morale high. Just because people are going to die in this basement it doesn’t mean that the struggle for freedom is over, that it has ended. But we have been screaming, shouting, appealing to the people for 60 days. The people of Cizre turned their bodies into shields against tanks, mortar, flamethrowers, and rocket launchers. Have no doubt [about this resistance]; I am sending greetings to all friends continuing the struggle. Despite the cold, the hunger and thirst, the people of Cizre did not kneel down. This is why the people left behind need to be proud of us.
I know they (state forces) are getting near. There is a danger that they will execute us slowly. They came yesterday and threatened us saying, ‘Surrender or we will burn all of you alive. We are going to suffocate all of you.’ I don’t know the intention of the AKP government, the governorate or the Interior Ministry. But there is savagery in Cizre at the moment. There is massacre. But we will not kneel down…”
Turkish state forces are implementing an all-out media blackout across the town of Cizre in the wake of yesterday’s offensive by Turkish forces on two buildings where wounded people had taken shelter and were trapped as a result of artillery attacks over a sixteen day siege. At least 60 Kurds – men, women and childrem – are known to have lost their lives. Most of those inside the building had been sheltering in the basement. The Turkish Government claimed all the occupants were members of the proscribed PKK. A local political leader has stated that the attack had all the hallmarks of a military-Ergenekon (‘deep state’) alliance, as part of the Government offensive against the Kurds. So far, mainstream media in the West has ignored the massacre.