Turkey can try ISIL members: International judge

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Turkey has the right to stage a military operation in Mosul according to international law, according to Rıza Türmen, a deputy for the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), who added that the CHP could support a motion for such a military operation.

In an interview with daily Hürriyet, Türmen, who previously served as a European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) judge for 10 years, said the scope of the current motion did not cover such an operation. He said a new motion was therefore needed for such an operation, but it should be “very well calculated” what kind of a message any new motion would send the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

International law allows a state whose diplomatic facilities have been attacked and diplomatic staff kidnapped to launch operations to catch the perpetrators and bring them to justice, Türmen said. “A military operation is very risky, but legally Turkey has an authorization based on international law,” he added.

A motion dated Oct. 10, 2013 allowing Turkish soldiers to operate on foreign lands is limited and a new motion should pass in Parliament for any possible operation in Mosul.

“Even though a diplomatic solution would be best, if the government feels the need to issue a new motion, we would not oppose it as the CHP. But one needs to ponder what the effect of issuing such a motion would have on ISIL. They would think, ‘they are preparing for a military operation,’” Türmen said.

In the interview, Türmen also claimed that Turkey had violated international law by providing support to the rebels in Syria. “Even though Bashar al-Assad is a dictator with blood on his hands, it does not change the fact that Turkey has made violations,” he said.

When reminded that al-Assad had complained to the United Nations about Turkey, Türmen said logistical support to insurgents was a violation of international law, as it amounted to using force against the territorial integrity of another state.

Asked about what would happen if al-Assad’s complaints at the U.N. were reviewed, the CHP deputy said the fact that the Syrian president had “blood on his hands” did not change the fact that Turkey had violated international law.

“It is true that Bashar al-Assad is a dictator with blood on his hands. But this does not change the fact that Turkey, by taking sides among the warring sides there, has joined the war, providing arms and logistical support. [The Syrian opposition] has set up headquarters in Turkey. These are violations of international law. The fact that al-Assad is a blood-stained dictator does not change the fact that Turkey has violated international law on the Syria issue,” Türmen said.

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