Two fathers in Turkey buried their sons, who are first cousins and fought on opposite sides of the Turkish-Kurdish conflict, at the same graveyard and accepted condolences from mourners together, Al-Jazeera Turk reported Saturday.
Ramis İpek and Selahattin Beycur buried their sons, Ridvan Ipek and Recep Beycur, just 50 feet from one another at their home town Kırımkaya near the Turkish eastern city of Erzurum.
“They spent their childhood together. We want peace. We don’t want brothers to go under the dirt. We don’t want anyone's heart to burn.”
Ridvan was a fighter with the Kurdistan's Workers' Party, or PKK, and was killed on Sept. 4 in a shootout between PKK fighters and Turkish security forces in the eastern city of Tunceli.
Meanwhile, Recep was a soldier with the Turkish Gendarme forces and was killed on Aug. 19 in the city of Siirt in southeastern Turkey by an alleged PKK bomb attack. Both fathers said that their sons went as a sacrifice for a “brotherly war.”
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“They spent their childhood together. We want peace. We don’t want brothers to go under the dirt. We don’t want anyone's heart to burn. Our lives have burned. We do not want anyone's life to burn,” the two men said as they accepted condolences over their son's death together.
Ridvan's father Ramis Ipek said that the renewed hostilities between Turkey and the PKK should come to an end as it has not benefited anyone in the past and is not in the interest of the people now. The sons' mothers are sisters and the two families have maintained close relations over the years.
“God's willing, our sons would be the last youngsters who die. The crying of their mothers is burning our lungs. Those are their children. They did not find them in the street, they did not pick them up from the trash. They raised them and brought them to 20-25 years of age and now they suffer this,” Ramis added.
Ridvan and Recep's death come in the midst of the renewed violence between the Turkish state and the Kurdish rebels PKK after Ankara announced in July an open-ended operation against the militia group.
The Turkish government says the PKK assassinated two policemen at their homes in the south of Turkey. The PKK said that the assailants who carried out the killings were not affiliated with the group.
The recent hostilities put an end to more than two years of cease-fire and peace talks between Turkey and the PKK. In March 2013, the leader of the PKK announced the cease-fire and that his group would seek political solution to the decades-long conflict that have killed more than 40,000 people, most of them are Kurds.
Turks and Kurds are brothers in this land, Ipek said.
“We sat together everywhere, we are friends. We eat and drink together,” he added.