Night raid on Suruç Municipality
URFA (DİHA) - The supplementary service building of the Suruç Municipality in Aligor that is being used to serve people from Kobanê who took refuge in Suruç was raided after midnight by Turkish soldiers and police supported by armoured vehicles. The police interrogated dozens of people staying at the building, including children and the elderly, and seized their identity cards.
Police found two weapons while searching the warehouses where the collected aid is stored. The co-mayor of Suruç Municipality, Orhan Şansal, said: “It might be a plot against the collecting of aid”. The youth in Suruç held a demonstration to protest the latest assaults on Kobanê in the Aligor neighbourhood of Suruç, blockading the road between Suruç-Aligor and chanting slogans cheering YPG’s resistance. Following the dispersal of the youth, soldiers and police in the district surrounded the supplementary building of the municipality in Aligor at around 02:00 on the pretext that the young protestors had taken refuge in the building. Arriving at the scene, HDP deputies İbrahim Aydın and Faysal Sarıyıldız as well as the co-mayor of Suruç prevented police from raiding the building in an unlawful manner and asked to see a search warrant. Only then did the Suruç Prosecutor’s Office issue a warrant for searching the building. The police and the soldiers then entered the building.
Aligor was a community affiliated to Suruç before the local elections of 30 March, but is now a neighbourhood of Suruç with the new regulations on local divisions and administration. The former building of Aligor municipality has been used for a while by the Suruç municipality to host refugees from Kobanê. The police searched the building, where dozens of people from Kobanê, including children and the elderly stay, conducted a search until 06:00 in the morning.
The police and the soldiers seized the identity cards of the refuges, took photos and interrogated them, in contravention of all laws, even not hesitating to enter into rooms of children with guns in their hands and searching the belongings and the beds of refugees. Police also broke down the doors of many rooms not used in the building as well as damaging the aid material in the cold storage. Aid materials such as clothes, batteries, books, shoes, etc were also seized by the security forces. The safe box of the municipality has also been taken away by the police as the key of the box was not found.
The police further allegedly found 2 guns and some hand grenades in an empty room in the building. The security forces also detained the watchman of the building, Muhammet Ülken, while leaving the building after a 4 hour-search, and took him to the Suruç Gendarme Office. Issuing a statement about the incident, the co-mayor of Suruç municipality, Orhan Şansal, said the security forces raided the building that is used to serve the people from Kobanê by using the actions of the youth as a pretext for the search. Şansal said the building was not used after the closing down of Aligor municipality and like all the other buildings which are not actively used in the district was used for refugees from Kobanê.
“The building is used for the people of Rojava. 2,000 people are served in the building as well as housing two cold storages for aid. The circulation in the building is high. There are families staying in the building with their children. In the midnight raid, the doors were broken, the people were interrogated on foot, and the aid send by the people of North Kurdistan for the refugees from Kobanê was plundered. The humanitarian aid was damaged”, said Şansal.
Şansal said two guns were found during the search adding that the municipality has nothing to do with the guns, but under war conditions everything is possible. “There is a war going on next to us. People need in addition to food and shelter defence materials while they are fleeing away. They might have brought the guns with them. We do not search anyone when we welcome them in the buildings”.
But Şansal also said it might be a plot to prevent aid reaching to people from Kobanê and added: “Some might well have been trying to sabotage the work of the Suruç Municipality for the people from Kobanê. And it might be their plot, because the room where the guns were found was locked and not used.”