YEREVAN (A.W.)—A Turkish shepherd was reportedly shot dead at the border with Armenia late on July 31. Turkey accused Armenia of using “excessive force,” and Turkish news sources accused Armenian soldiers of opening fire on the victim.
Thirty-five-year-old Mustafa Ulker, a resident of the Arpachay district in Kars, reportedly crossed into Armenian territory to retrieve a sheep. Soldiers shot at the man without any warning, according to Turkish sources.
In accordance with a bilateral Russian-Armenian agreement, Armenia’s border with Turkey (as well as with Iran) has been secured by Russian border guards.
The Russian Federal Security Service is investigating the incident, according to reports.
On Aug. 1, the shepherd’s body was transferred to Turkey following border negotiations. The body was taken to Arpacay and will be transferred to Erzurum for an autopsy.
Kars Governor Eyup Tepe told journalists, “We can say that there was excessive use of force, considering that [Ulker] did not have a gun.”
Turkey closed its border with Armenia in 1993 in a show of support to Azerbaijan over the Karabagh War. Russian troops patrol Armenia’s border with Turkey. Although rare in occurrence, there have been other fatal shootings on the border.