Three years have passed since the PKK terrorist group assassinated the governor of the district of Derik in southeastern Mardin province, Muhammet Fatih Safitürk, as part of a relentless strategy of the terrorist group of carrying the clashes into urban areas and attacking opposing local politicians and state employees in the region. Within the framework of the Interior Ministry’s appointments to 28 municipalities, Safitürk was assigned to the Derik district in July. After a few months, PKK terrorists attacked the building with rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) on Nov.10 2016, injuring the 35-year-old official. The father of two succumbed to his injuries on Nov.11. Now, the people of Derik commemorate the man who left a mark on both their hearts and minds with his services and sincere approach and pray for him. Photos of the governor first put up in workplaces and homes three years ago remain hung out of respect. Safitürk’s name was also given to several parks, schools and streets. Indicating that Safitürk had also hugely contributed to accessibility for the handicapped as well as other opportunities for the disabled, including education, head of the Derik Handicapped Association Kasım Salim stated, “The people of Derik will not forget him and still talk of his works.” Similarly, one of the citizens said that such a statesman is hard to find: “He helped the poor, supported whoever needed support and aided the homeless.” A monument of Safitürk with his personal background and photo was erected in the garden of the renewed district governorate building.
Saying that the pain of losing his son is still fresh, Safitürk’s father Asım Safitürk stated: “Many events were organized in Turkey in the name of our child. The provincial agriculture directorate opened a water well abroad, naming it after my son. This well provides water for 500 people,” adding that this is the best consolation possible. As part of the investigation, it had been revealed that the bomb was sent from Istanbul before being planted by Safitürk’s chief clerk Tahsin Erdaş and head of the editorial department Şerif Mesutoğlu. The bomb was detonated by municipal police chief Vedat Erol. Mesutoğlu was condemned twice to aggravated life sentences plus 28 years during his hearing in Mardin on Oct. 22, 2018 for the crimes of disrupting the unity and territorial integrity of the state, killing a person on purpose for his civil service, attempting to kill the person on purpose due to his civil service and possessing explosive material, while the trial of the other suspects is still ongoing. The commemoration of Safitürk took place in the school named after him with the participation of several leading figures, including the Deputy District Governor Mustafa Dinç, high court Chief Prosecutor Samet Cebiroğlu and Deputy District Security Director Mustafa Çakmak.
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