Prosecutor seeks drone images from deadly
Turkish raid on civilian Kurds
January 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.
ANKARA, — Prosecutors have asked the
Turkish military to provide images taken by drones
during an air strike that
killed 35 young
Kurdish civilians on the Iraqi Kurdistan border, the
Anatolia news agency said on Saturday.
Turkish fighter jets killed the 35 Kurds during an
operation last Wednesday the government admitted was
a "blunder" that mistakenly hit civilians instead of
Kurdish separatist guerrillas.
Turkey's military command said it had ordered an
attack on Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militants
after a spy drone spotted a group moving toward its
sensitive south-eastern border under cover of
A large-scale investigation into the incident is
under way, said Anatolia, adding that the
prosecutor's office in Sirnak province requested
that the military send images taken by the unmanned
aerial vehicles during the air raid.
The prosecutor's office will also hear eyewitnesses
from the region as part of the investigation,www.ekurd.net
Clashes between Kurdish rebels and the army have
escalated in recent months.
The Turkish military launched an operation on
militant bases inside northern Iraq in October after
a PKK attack killed 24 Turkish soldiers in the
border town of Cukurca, the army's biggest loss
Hundreds of Kurds
Saturday in Diyarbakir, the main city of the
majority Kurdish southeast, after police said two
PKK members had been killed in a shootout.
In November Turkey bombed the Sulaimaniyah and Erbil
provinces of Iraq's autonomous northern Kurdish
region, wounding a civilian, Kurdish officials said.
Since August 17, 2011 Turkish jets repeatedly carried out
air strikes against the Kurdish PKK separatist
group's bases in
Iraqi Kurdistan region,
under justification of chasing elements of the
anti-Ankara PKK, forcing large numbers of Kurdish
citizens of those areas to desert their home
villages, including an air raid that
Kurdish civilians in a village north
of Kurdistan’s Sulaimaniyah city on August 21, 2011.
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
But now its aim is the creation an autonomous
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
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
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.
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