Turkish General Staff and Gov't Bear
Responsibility for Roboski Kurdish massacre
MP Kürkçü of the Uludere
sub-commission said, "The operation was directed
from Ankara. The General Staff bears responsibility
and therefore also the political power". MP Gök
stated that the operation was done with the
knowledge of the Prime Ministry and the General
Locals gather in front of the bodies of people 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 34 Kurdish villagers in an air strike near
the Iraqi Kurdistan border, Photo: EPA.
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February 7, 2012
SIRNAK, The Kurdish
region of Turkey, The Uludere sub-commission
visited the province of Şırnak on Monday (6
February) to investigate the aerial strike that
caused the death of 34 civilian Kurds on 28 December
in the Turkey's Kurdistan south-east of Turkey
[Northern Kurdistan], BIA news website reported.
The sub-commission was established within the
Parliamentary Human Rights Commission in order to
shed light on the background of the incident.
Members of the commission talked to military and
civil officials in Şırnak. The previous day, they
had talked to villagers, mainly relatives of the
victims and survivors.
Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) Mersin Deputy
Ertuğrul Kürkçü said in a statement made to bianet,
"The incident started in Ankara and it was finished
in Ankara". The investigation was going to be
continued in Ankara from now on, he announced.
According to Kürkçü, the commission holds the
opinion that the bombardment was a planned massacre,
a view that is also supported by the facts, the
Republican Peoples' Party (CHP) Ankara Deputy Levent
Gök announced the findings after talks with military
"The units in Şırnak are not responsible for the
operation. It was carried out entirely upon commands
and orders coming from Ankara. Images and
determinations related to cross-border actions are
made from Ankara. Contrary to common belief,www.ekurd.net
the military officials in Şırnak were not involved
in the determination of the target".
"We think that the information and authority
regarding the operation was held by the General
Staff and Prime Ministry. We will continue our work
The commission talked to the divisional commander,
the brigadier commander and his deputy, the
regimental commander of the gendarmerie, the
governor and his deputy and to the prosecutor.
Kürkçü told bianet about the talks with the
villagers on Sunday and with regional officials on
"No responsibility of the
local military unit"
* As understood from the picture that emerged today
[6 February], local military units were apparently
not part of the operation and neither hold authority
nor responsibility. The authority was entirely held
by the General Staff and the operation was evidently
based on the permit for a cross-border operation.
* During the two weeks preceding and following the
bombardment, the intelligence gave notice of
increased activities of the Kurdistan Workers' Party
(PKK) in the region. Many radio conversations were
intercepted. There was a state of alarm in the
region. Yet, the local units said that the measures
they took were not related to the aerial strike.
* We will watch the images captured by the Heron
drones for the period of four hours before the
incident. The footage is currently at the
Diyarbaykır Public Prosecution that is in charge of
the investigation. At 9.00 pm the local units
receive the order to cease their movement. They stop
all actions in the region upon the order from
* We are going to talk to the General Staff, the
Prime Ministry and the Ministry of the Interior. We
will continue our investigation in Ankara.
* What the villagers told us matches with our talks
held with officials. The villagers said that they
had not received any warning from the military
officials. They told us that everybody was used to
the cross-border trading and that they experienced
this attack all of a sudden.
"Started and finished in
* The villagers deemed the incident a planned
massacre and this is obvious. What needs to be
revealed now is who gave the order for this massacre
and why. I logically assumed that this was a planned
massacre even before we were able to access that
much detailed information.
* Now, my opinion was supported by facts. I think
that this was a cross-border operation and that the
responsibility lies with the General Staff and
therefore with the political power. This is what I
think after all I have heard. The incident of
Roboski [one of the affected villages in Uludere]
started in Ankara and was finished in Ankara. We
hope to be able to complete our investigation within
two months, maybe even earlier.
Earlier on Roboski massacre
Amnesty International last January
calls on the Turkish
authorities to investigate immediately the death of
at least 35 Kurdish civilians in the military airstrike.
Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc
on January 3, 2012 Turkey will pay reparations to
the families of Kurdish villagers killed in air
strikes near the Iraqi Kurdistan border, but will
not officially apologise. Hasip Kaplan, BDP parliamentary
group president and deputy for Şırnak has
Ankara is behind the massacre in the Kurdish village
A US Predator drone mistakenly targeted the Kurdish
The drone, was one of four based at Incirlik Airbase
in southern Turkey, launched the airstrike in
December on the village of Ortasu, sources told
In its main headline on Sunday, Turkish Aydinlik
newspaper quoted "credible sources" as saying that
the US drone had launched the airstrike by targeting
the victims. Iran's Press TV reported.
Turkish air force F-16 fighter jets arrived on scene
about 16 to 18 minutes later and continued the
attack on what the military thought were members of
the of Kurdistan Workers' Party rebel group, Iran's Press TV said.
Turkeys Consul-General in Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan
region, Aydin Selcen,
confirmed reports that the
US deployed drones to Turkeys Incirlik air base
following its troop withdrawal from Iraq.
On the same issue, the journalist, Ece Temelkuran, said she was
from her job as a columnist at the daily newspaper Haberturk because of the critical stance she took on
the incident, in which Turkish air force jets killed
diesel fuel and cigarette smugglers, many of them
less than 17 years of age. The Turkish military said it
believed the smugglers were insurgents from the
outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK.
The pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) has
taken the case of Roboski
massacre to the International Criminal Court ICC on
January 24, 2012.
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
The PKK is considered ass '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.
Sources: bianet.org | AFP | ekurd.net
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