Soldiers Slaughter Mules at Roboski

By Dr. Amy L. Beam:

 10 mules killed, Mar 23, 2015.  Photo by Ferhat Encu, Twitter @ferhatencu

10 mules killed, Mar 23, 2015. Photo by Ferhat Encu, Twitter @ferhatencu

On March 23, 2015, at the border crossing between Roboski, Turkey, and Kurdistan, Iraq, soldiers shot and killed eight mules and wounded five (story corrected 25 March). Angry villagers gathered at the border as additional soldiers were sent to the border. Mules are used in cross-border trade to support the livelihood of local villagers.

The order to shoot the mules was given by Sirnak Division Commander Lieutenant Colonel Abdullah Baysal. This is unverified, from a reliable source on the scene.

Soldier shot and killed 10 mules, Roboski, Mar 23, 2015.

Soldiers shot and killed 10 mules, Roboski, Mar 23, 2015.

This is yet another planned attack against the Kurds to provoke an angry reaction to trigger further violence. It comes only two days after the peaceful celebration of Newroz, Kurdish New Year.

On March 21, 2015, a letter was read from Abdullah Ocalan, jailed leader of the Kurdish people, to over one million people celebrating Newroz, Kurdish New Year, in Diyarbakir. Mr. Ocalan is holding peace negotiations with the Turkish government on Imrali Island where he has been imprisoned since 1999. He urged people of all ethnic and political groups to give peace a chance. He declared the PKK must convene a congress to discuss disarmament and end the 30-year armed conflict in Turkey.

In Istanbul, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu addressed a huge Newroz crowd and, also, urged an end to armed conflict and violence. “I call on all to leave hatred aside and speak with the language of affection from now on. Let’s bury hatred, violence, weapons in the ground forever, rather than bury our youth. Let’s bury the pains of the mothers of the martyrs and those who lost their sons,”  Davutoglu said.

Today’s attack on Roboski is a clear provocation that will be felt throughout Turkey. We call upon the government and all the people of Turkey to hold accountable those who are trying to derail the peace negotiations through the senseless and cruel murder of 10 mules while they were working, resulting in the deprivation for the local villagers of earning a meager livelihood.

On December 28, 2011, Turkish Air Force flew two F-16s and bombed and killed 34 innocent Kurdish men doing cross-border trading. Nineteen of them were teenagers; the youngest was 12. The government called it an operational mistake. Roboski stands as a symbol of solidarity to all Kurds who are struggling for full Kurdish cultural and language rights under the constitution.

 funeral procession for 34 Kurds killed Dec. 28, 2011, in Roboski massacre

Funeral procession for 34 Kurds killed Dec. 28, 2011, in Roboski massacre

Dr. Amy L. Beam promotes tourism in eastern Turkey at Mount Ararat Trek and writes political and historical commentary on Kurds and Yazidi refugees in Turkey.  Follow her on Twitter @amybeam or email her at Read her many other articles at Kurdistan Tribune.

1st 2 photos by Ferhat Encu: @ferhatencu

One Response to Soldiers Slaughter Mules at Roboski
  1. Act Now!
    March 24, 2015 | 20:22

    If the US and Allies do not immediately support and expedite the formation of and independent Kurdish state in South, the neighboring countries will further invest/grow stronger militarily. They will be more in pursuit of WMD, Nukes and wars. To further undermine Iranian and Russia influence in the ME, it must happen. Act now!

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