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 Amnesty International calls on the Turkey to investigate civilian Kurds' killing

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Amnesty International calls on the Turkey to investigate civilian Kurds' killing  1.1.2012    






Locals gather in front of the bodies of Kurds who were killed in a Turkish warplane attack in the Ortasu village of Uludere, in the Sirnak province, Turkey Kurdistan on December 29, 2011. Turkish warplanes killed 23 Kurdish villagers. Photo: Getty
January 1, 2012

LONDON, — Turkey must investigate civilian killings.

Amnesty International calls on the Turkish authorities to investigate immediately the death of at least 35 civilians in a military airstrike near the Iraqi border in south-eastern Turkey on the night of 28 December 2011. No military targets were reported to have been hit in the attack.

“The circumstances of the military operation that caused the death of so many civilians, some of whom were children, must be urgently investigated in a full, independent and transparent manner,” said Nicola Duckworth, Europe and Central Asia Programme Director.

“The government statements of regret are welcome but are woefully insufficient in the face of what appears to have been a complete failure to distinguish between a military target and civilians.”

Early reports indicated that drones operating in the area had alerted the Turkish airforce to the movement of a large group of people across the Iraqi Kurdistan border,www.ekurd.net believed to have been members of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

As a result, some 35 Kurdish civilians were killed near the Uludere village in the city of Sirnak. At least 18 of those killed were children, the youngest was said to have been 12 years old. Twenty-nine of them are believed to belong to the same family.

“The Turkish authorities must take measures to prevent further such attacks and to provide compensation for the families of those killed,” said Nicola Duckworth.

Since it was established in 1984, the PKK has been fighting the Turkish state, which still denies the constitutional existence of Kurds, to establish a Kurdish state in the south east of the country, sparking a conflict that has claimed some 45,000 lives.

But now its aim is the creation an autonomous Kurdish region and more cultural rights for ethnic Kurds who constitute the greatest minority in Turkey, numbering more than 20 million. A large Turkey's Kurdish community openly sympathise with the Kurdish PKK rebels.

PKK's demands included releasing PKK detainees, lifting the ban on education in Kurdish, paving the way for an autonomous democrat Kurdish system within Turkey, reducing pressure on the detained PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan, stopping military action against the Kurdish party and recomposing the Turkish constitution.

Turkey refuses to recognize its Kurdish population as a distinct minority. It has allowed some cultural rights such as limited broadcasts in the Kurdish language and private Kurdish language courses with the prodding of the European Union, but Kurdish politicians say the measures fall short of their expectations.

PKK is considered as 'terrorist' organization by Ankara, U.S., the PKK continues to be on the blacklist list in EU despite court ruling which overturned a decision to place the Kurdish rebel group PKK and its political wing on the European Union's terror list. 

Copyright © 2012, respective author or news agency, amnesty.org | ekurd.net | Agencies
 


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