A botched raid by the Turkish Air Forces last year in Uludere was ordered by Prime Minister Erdoğan, BDP co-leader Demirtaş says on the first anniversary
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan ordered the Turkish Air Force to strike 34 people in Uludere last year based on intelligence that there was a high-profile Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militant among the group, Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş has said on the first anniversary of the killings.
“It was said that there was a high-profile PKK member among the group but information about civilians was also given to the prime minister,” Demirtaş said in a speech he delivered to thousands of people gathered for a commemoration in the southeastern province of Şırnak’s Uludere district Dec 28.
Demirtaş called on Erdoğan to “confess that it was he who gave the bombing order.”
Some 34 civilian Kurdish villagers were killed in an air strike on Dec. 28, 2011, when they were allegedly mistaken for PKK militants as they smuggled oil from northern Iraq into Turkey.
Main opposition furious
A sub-commission of Parliament’s Human Rights Inquiry Commission was set up to investigate the air-strike, however it has failed to publish its much-anticipated findings, which some members claim is due to a lack of cooperation from government agencies and military branches.
The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) harshly criticized the government over the issue and called on the resignation of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) MPs from Uludere-related commissions.
CHP’s Ankara deputy Levent Gök, also a member of the sub-commission, said “The Uludere incident has taken the AKP hostage and sub-commission members of the AKP have lost all their credibility,” at a press conference in Ankara Dec. 28.
CHP’s Gök said the AKP and the General Staff were trying to forget the Uludere incident, to black it out and cool it down.
“Remarks by a person that I assumed as an addressee two hours ago are being denied two hours later, they are politically destroying each other,” Gök said, announcing that the CHP will issue its own report soon.
The sub-commission was formed in January 2012 to examine the incident, request information and documents from the General Staff, the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) and the ministries of defense, interior and justice, while also conducting visits to the region.
At about the same time in Uludere, pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) deputies marched with thousands in protests. Sebahat Tuncel, an Istanbul deputy, said nearly 5, 000 people attended marches.
“The parliamentary sub-commission’s report does not reflect the truth. The massacre could not be hidden, so they found a scapegoat. The state has played a significant role in every massacre in Turkey like Maraş, Sivas,” Tuncel told the Hürriyet Daily news in a phone interview yesterday.
The New York-based Human Rights Watch has also called on the Turkish government to launch “an effective and transparent inquiry” into the attack.