The Uludere sham

The Uludere sham

Last year on December 28 squadrons of Turkish jets made sortie after sortie and “successfully eliminated” scores of “terrorists” trying to infiltrate the country from northern Iraq, at an area close to the Uludere town in the Şırnak province.

For almost a day, 17 hours to be precise, this incident was veiled under the self-censorship officiousness of the entire Turkish media despite the fact that there was no official censorship in place at the time. That auto-censorship, unfortunately, demonstrated the level to which the atmosphere of fear has settled on the country.

How did it happen that the Turkish state bombarded and murdered 34 of its citizens? Who provided the intelligence; the military, the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) or the police intelligence? Almost five months have passed since 34 citizens were murdered by their state, yet neither a parliamentary commission has been established to probe the incident. Nor has the military, the intelligence services or the government come up with a clear statement identifying the culprits of the heinous crime.

Gossip in political corridors of Ankara is that the ever-angry prime minister was yelling his top confidants why they moved to establish a parliamentary commission to probe the incident if they would not be able to point out who is responsible of the Uludere murder? The problem, unfortunately, resembles the problem of how to handle a totally muddy stick. The prime minister did not want the military, his trusted MİT, the police intelligence or the allied American military intelligence – with which Turkey has been supposedly engaged in intelligence collaboration in the fight against terrorism – be blamed in the horrifying bloodshed. What would the commission say if it cannot really point the finger at anyone?

Like a hot potato none of the intelligence-capable institutions of Ankara were assuming responsibility of the sham, nor could they place the blame on the others, fearing the wrath of the every-angry master prime minister…

Now, almost five months after the murders, a report in the Wall Street Journal has shed some light on how the incident might have developed. The WSJ has been a credible publication and thus, this report must be taken very seriously. After all, we do not have a much better explanation of how the Uludere massacre might have actually happened.

According to WSJ the initial intelligence on a group of suspected terrorists trying to infiltrate into Turkey came from the American Predator drone operating in the area. After the Predator drone spotted the men, bundled in heavy jackets, and pack animals, American intelligence immediately notified Turks about the situation and asked whether Turkey wanted further clarification. Obviously, their location in an area frequented by separatist terrorists raised suspicions, but apparently there were little else to identify the group as terrorists. Thus, the WSJ reported, the American “Fusion Cell” in Ankara alerted Turks, and explained that additional surveillance from the Predator might help better identify the convoy. But, Turks instead directed the Americans who were remotely piloting the drone to fly it somewhere else and compliance with the Turks’ request was “standard procedure.”

Turkish government and military have still remained silent when this article was written. How was the Uludere massacre committed?

Turkey, uludere, massacre, air raid, kurdistan, kurds