Soldiers beat me and then shot me, says Mehmet Ali

A twenty-year-old was allegedly shot in the back by soldiers in Van. Mehmet Ali Nametoğulları reports on the army attack, in which he was heavily injured.

On 7 February, 20-year-old Mehmet Ali Nametoğulları was admitted to the intensive care unit of a hospital in Van with a gunshot wound in the back and traces of abuse. Apparently the young Kurd was attacked by soldiers. The incident occurred in the municipality of Arçak between the districts of Özalp and Ipekyolu. Despite his still life-threatening condition, he was interrogated in the hospital.

His father Ismet Nametoğulları declared: “This is what my son said in his testimony: My sister, who lives in Van, said she was very sick and asked me to take her to the doctor. Because my vehicle was not registered and because of the restrictions imposed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, I wanted to drive to Van via the village of Keçanis. As I drove through the village, I saw soldiers carrying out an operation against smugglers. I thought things would get worse if I ran away, so I decided to stop. As I got out of the vehicle, I saw the soldiers running towards me screaming. One soldier knocked me to the ground, another shot me in the back from four to five meters away. When I realized what had happened, I shouted: ‘Why did you shoot me, what did I do to you?’ They took me to the state hospital in Özalp. From there I was taken to the hospital in Van.”

The father said the family had decided to file a complaint. Nametoğulları is not out of danger and will have to undergo another operation within two days.