Speaking at Mazlumder’s Roboski stall in Ankara, sociologist Ismail Besikçi underlined that “The murder of 34 people, despite all available information about their activities and working hours, is an intimidation just like the execution of 33 Kurdish villagers in 1943.”

Mazlumder central office opened a permanent stall in Kizilay, in Ankara, to protest against the fact that for seven months nothing has come out from the investigation into the massacre.

Sociologist Besikçi, holding a talk at the stall on its 34th day, remarked that the Roboski slaughter is an important milestone and a bench mark in terms of law, democracy and human rights.

Besikçi called attention to the relations of Kurds in 1940’s and reminded the execution of 33 Kurdish villagers in 1943 which –he underlined- aimed at intimidating Kurds amidst the years of invasions in north and west parts of Iran.

Remarking that drawing borders in 1920 didn’t prevent the active continuation of relations between Kurds, Besikçi pointed out that the Turkish state imposed the duty of village guard on the people of Roboski in 1984 and has turned a blind eye to the smuggling activities in this area ever since.

Hard efforts are being made to isolate Kurds from each other, underlined Besikçi and noted that the Turkish state made an intimidation in Roboski because it feared the process of Arab Spring could evolve into another direction in its region.

Besikçi described the smuggling phenomenon in this region as activities for daily needs and asked; “Why do the people walk secretly in their own homeland?

Speaking after Besikçi, Ferhat Encü who lost 11 of his relatives in the massacre said that; “The Roboski massacre has played an important role in raising consciousness among Kurds because no one ever deserves to be killed for being involved in border trade. This massacre is a crime against humanity and Turkey has become a country of massacres.”

Referring to Prime Minister Erdogan’s statements which underline that Roboski families have been paid compensation, Encü said that “The Turkish state is behaving Kurds as if purchasable goods. The families of victims gathered the bodies of their children in pieces and carried them to hospital morgue on donkeys.”

The talk was followed by the display of the film “Border and Trade” which was shot in Van, dealing the smuggling reality in the Kurdish area.


* Dr. Ismail Besikçi (born in 1939 in Iskilip, Turkey) is a Turkish scholar. He is a PEN Honorary Member. He has served 17 years in prison on propaganda (trumped up) charges stemming from his writings about the Kurdish population in Turkey.
Ismail Besikçi studied at the Faculty of Political Sciences of Ankara University, and graduated in 1962. After he became an assistant professor at Atatürk University in Erzurum. He prepared his first anthropological study, an investigation of one of the last nomadic Kurdish tribes, the Alikan, here, which he submitted in 1967 to the Ankara Faculty of Political Sciences.
For many years, Ismail Besikçi was the only non-Kurdish person in Turkey to speak out loud and clearly in defense of the rights of the Kurds. Continuing to write and speak in spite of all attempts to silence him, Besikçi has become a powerful and important symbol for the Kurds and for the human rights movement of Turkey. He was charged for over 100 years but released from jail in 1999. In 1987 he was a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize. 32 of the 36 books that he has published have been banned in Turkey.
He has been described as "modern Turkey’s pioneer of Kurdish studies".
In 2010 he was again prosecuted, this time by the attorney general of Istanbul for “PKK propaganda” on account of an article on "The rights of the nations to self-determination and the Kurds" that he wrote for the "Association of Contemporary Lawyers". In March 2011 he was sentenced to 15 months in prison.