Families take Roboski incident to European court

Families take Roboski incident to European court

Families take Roboski incident to European court The families of the people killed in the Roboski incident, in which 34 civilians died in an airstrike, have taken the case to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). A total of 281 people were involved in the application, saying the fact that the airstrike carried out in the Uludere district of the southeastern province of Şırnak wasn’t “properly investigated violates the right to live.”

“All of the injustices, unlawfulness, including violations of basic rights, directed at the families of the ones killed in Roboski are involved in the application,” a Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) lawmaker from Şırnak, Ferhat Encü, told Bianet on Aug. 23. 

A total of 34 civilians, who were allegedly mistaken for outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants smuggling goods into Turkey, were killed on Dec. 28, 2011, in attacks carried out by F-16s and unmanned aerial vehicles. Some of Encü’s relatives were among those killed.

“Our priority is finding the perpetrators. We ask for a decision for the ones involved in the massacre to be brought to court,” he also said. 

Turkish Energy Minister Berat Albayrak recently commented on the incident, saying the case would be reinvestigated, as he commented on the July 15 failed coup attempt, believed to have been masterminded by U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen.

Albayrak also said the coup attempt brought up “new questions” on the Roboski incident, adding that the prosecutors would reexamine the Air Force’s actions in both cases. 

Akın Öztürk, a former Air Force chief already arrested as one of the key suspects in the coup plot, was the chief of the Turkish air staff when the Roboski incident took place.

When asked about alleged Gülen involvement in the incident, Encü said, “The main responsibility is on the government.”

“There can be other powers involved in the massacre, but overall the government carries the main responsibility for it,” he added.