Turkey street clash survivor narrates horror
‘We hugged each other before they killed us,' said Yusuf Er, who was part of a group of four, of which three were brutally murdered

Pro-Kurdish demonstrators attacked even those people who were just distributing food aid to Syrian refugees during the recent violent street clashes in southern Turkey, a survivor told Anadolu Agency in an interview.

Yusuf Er, who survives from grievous injuries to his arm, chest and head, was part of a group of four, out of which three were brutally murdered in Diyarbakir province.

Er’s three friends Yasin Boru, 16, Hakan Gokgoz, 26, and Huseyin Dakak, 19, were killed by attackers armed with machetes and guns on the second day of Eid al-Adha on October 5 during countrywide street protests.

"We hugged each other before they came for us because we knew we would all be killed that day,” the survivor said.

The recent protests erupted when the Syrian town of Kobani came under Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or the ISIL, attack and it was alleged that the Turkish government was not doing enough to help the mostly Kurdish population there.

The violence had left at least 34 people dead across Turkey, 12 of them in Diyarbakir alone.

Most casualties were said to have occurred in clashes between supporters of the outlawed Kurdish Workers’ Party, or the PKK, and the supporters of the Islamist Kurdish political party, or the Free Cause Party.

The families of Boru, Gokgoz and Dakak have already given details about how the bodies of their loved ones were brutally mutilated, an account that was subsequently also confirmed in an autopsy report.

Er’s eyewitness account sheds new details on how these young men were chased and eventually lynched by a mob.

The survivor said their group of four was travelling in a car, when they saw armed men blocking the road ahead. "We told the attackers we were only in the area to distribute food items such as meat to the refugees, but they accused us of being ISIL supporters,” he said.

They were then attacked with guns, sticks and stones.

"We got out of the car and ran towards a nearby apartment building to seek shelter," Er said.

On the second floor, they were confronted with an apartment administrator who was afraid the armed attackers would follow the four and attack the residents there as well.

"A kind woman on the third floor offered to hide us in her home,” Er said. The attackers, however, were hell bent on killing them and began a door-to-door search of the premises.

Eventually, the armed men entered the apartment where they were hiding. "I remember some people chanting ‘Kill them', ‘Don’t spare them alive' by using pans and pots as drum rolls,” he said, as he and his friends were being stabbed.

He said the painful groan of his friends still reverberated in his ears. "I was hiding in the toilet when they opened fire on my friends. They killed all three with guns, knives and machetes."

When they broke open the toilet door, Er was stabbed many times, but somehow he managed to break free and run out of the building. He said he saw the burning remains of his friends as he fled the area. Shots were also fired at him, but he kept on running even though he lost a lot of blood. Eventually, Er was helped by a group of sympathizers who helped him reach his uncle and a hospital.

Last Modified: 2014-10-17 09:56:18
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