September 29
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The statement made by Devlet Bahceli, the leader of Turkey’s Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), according to which solely Muslims can be considered martyrs in Turkey, infuriated the parents of Sevag Balikci—the Istanbul Armenian who was killed, on April 24, 2011, in a military unit while serving in the Turkish army. 

In an interview with the Radikal daily, Sevag’s mother noted in anger that her son was killed while carrying out his duty before the country and that he will be considered a martyr. The mother stressed that two months ago they were asked to submit documents in order to recognize Sevag a martyr and to allocate a pension to his family.

“We sent all required documents, but have not yet received an answer. They are probably waiting for the end of the judicial process,” Sevag’s mother said.      

To note, Sevag Balikci was killed by Kivanc Agaoglu, but the Turkish gendarmerie had stated that the death had occurred accidentally while the soldiers were joking around. Agaoglu was released at the very first court hearing, and on the grounds that he had no reason to escape.

The Turkish Military Prosecutor’s Office demands a mere nine-year sentence for Agaoglu, and on charges of “murder as a result of negligence.” But at Diyarbakir Military Court, a senior officer had stated that, after Sevag’s murder, an eyewitness soldier had told him that Kivanc Agaoglu had told Sevag: “Chubby, I will kill you!”

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