Committee demands Uludere UAV footage

Committee demands Uludere UAV footage

ŞIRNAK - Doğan News Agency
Committee demands Uludere UAV footage

Deputies from Parliament’s Human Rights Commission continue their work. DHA photo

The head of a parliamentary commission charged with investigating the Uludere incident said they wanted to examine the footage taken from an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) of the botched air strike that resulted in the deaths of 34 civilians in December 2011.

“There are steps to be taken after this. Of course, we want to watch the footage in relation to the questions you have asked. We are going to run out of time today. We want to watch them in Ankara,” the head of Parliament’s Human Rights Committee Ayhan Sefer Üstün said while on a visit yesterday to the southeastern province of Şırnak.

Human Rights Committee’s Uludere sub-committee head İhsan Şener said that they learned that the air raid decision was not decided by the administrative and security officials in Şırnak.

A delegation headed by Üstün paid a visit Feb. 5 to the villages of Gülyazı and Ortasu on the Iraqi border where the incident took place. They then moved to downtown Şırnak where they met with representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and Şırnak Gov. Vahdettin Özkan the morning of Feb. 6.

“We want the incident to come to light,” Üstün said, adding they also wanted to watch the footage of the incident taken from Israeli-made Heron drones on which the Turkish military relies for its fight against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

“Our [fellow] citizens rightfully keep asking about [what] appears in the press regardless of whether it is true or false. It would put all of us at ease for these questions to be answered in a clear and lucid manner as soon as possible,” Özkan said.

As the local administration, whenever they went to a village they ended up facing the bulk of people’s reactions, he said.

Meanwhile, Abdülkadir Selvi, columnist for daily Yeni Şafak, claimed on Feb. 6 the Prime Minister’s Office was not informed about the air raid and the General Staff’s Anti-Terror Department insistently did not confirm with local commanders that the victims were smugglers.

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