Kuşkonar and Koçağılı massacre

The Kuşkonar and Koçağılı massacre (Turkish: Kuşkonar Katliamı, Kurdish: Komkujiya Kuşkonare) is the name given to the 26 March 1994 massacre in which 38 Kurdish villagers were killed and the villages of Koçağılı and Kuşkonar near the province of Şırnak were destroyed as a result of the Turkish Armed Forces' heavy bombardment.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8]

The families of victims who appealed to the Turkish court weren't convinced from the court decision that the PKK was responsible for the massacre. They appealed to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and the investigations revealed that in spite of Turkey's claims there were no clashes in the area. Turkey was condemned for killing Kurdish civilians and the ECHR ordered Turkey to pay 2,3 million euros to the families of victims.[1][4]


The incident took place at the villages of Koçağılı and Kuşkonar, Sirnak Province, in the morning of 26 March 1994 whilst most male residents of the both villages were working in the fields outside the villages. Villagers heard aircraft flying nearby at around 10.30 and 11.00 AM. Turkish Air Force military aircraft and a helicopter circled both villages and started to bomb them. Villagers who saw bombs tried to escape the bombardment, but machine gun fire from the helicopter prevented their escape. Some people received direct hits and some were trapped under the rubble of the houses that were destroyed in the bombing.[1]

After the bombardment 38 people had died, 13 people in Koçağılı and 25 in Kuşkonar. Most of those who died were children, women or elderly, including seven babies. In addition, a total of 13 people were injured.[1] Later the Turkish Armed Forces soldiers blamed the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and used the incident as a propaganda. The government had also refused to start investigations despite the complaints of the survived villagers and their relatives.[1][9][10]

According to the court, blaming the PKK for crimes like this was back then common act by Turkish government.[11]


The lawyer of the case was Tahir Elçi, a Kurdish lawyer and activist, who was assassinated a few months later. He had been previously threatened by state-sponsored factors for not labelling the PKK as a terrorist organization.[12]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e "The European Court of Human Rights: Case of Benzer and others v. Turkey" (PDF) (Mass execution of Kurdish villagers). 24 March 2014: 57. Retrieved 29 December 2015. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  2. ^ "AVUKAT ELÇİ YORUMLUYOR: Kuşkonar Katliamını Askeri Savcılığın Soruşturması Doğru mu?". Bianet - Bagimsiz Iletisim Agi. Retrieved 3 April 2016.
  3. ^ ""Kuşkonar Bombardment" Case Dismissed". Bianet - Bagimsiz Iletisim Agi. Retrieved 3 April 2016.
  4. ^ a b "Hürriyet Daily News". www.hurriyetdailynews.com. Retrieved 3 April 2016.
  5. ^ "Roboski 100 weeks of injustice". Retrieved 3 April 2016.
  6. ^ "Kürt köylerini yok edenler yargılanacak mı? - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East (in Turkish)". Al-Monitor. Retrieved 4 April 2016.
  7. ^ https://m.bianet.org/english/law/230230-constitutional-court-ruling-on-kuskonar-massacre-26-years-later[bare URL]
  8. ^ "Dispatches: European Court Presses Turkey on Justice". HRW.
  9. ^ "HÜLYA DİNÇER YAZDI: Hakikatin Gücü, Barışmanın İmkânı". Bianet - Bagimsiz Iletisim Agi. Retrieved 3 April 2016.
  10. ^ "Dispatches: European Court Presses Turkey on Justice". 13 November 2013.
  11. ^ Welle (www.dw.com), Deutsche. "Turkish government to pay for 1994 bombing of Kurdish villages | DW | 12.11.2013". DW.COM. Retrieved 2021-11-29.
  12. ^ "Turkey: Hopes of justice for assassinated human rights lawyer as three police officers go on trial". 21 October 2020.