Government to pay record compensation for Uludere

Government to pay record compensation for Uludere

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Government to pay record compensation for Uludere

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said the government was taking measures to prevent the repetition of similar incidents at his group meeting yesterday. DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin SÖNMEZ

The government has allocated unprecedented compensation of 123,000 Turkish Liras for the families of each of the 34 people who were mistakenly killed last month in an air raid aimed at Kurdish militants near Uludere on the Iraqi border.

The payments were announced yesterday by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who explained that the families of the victims were entitled to 23,150 liras each by law in addition to an extra sum of 100,000 liras added from Prime Ministry funds. This represents the highest compensation paid so far to victims of the anti-terror fight.

Erdoğan gave assurances that the payment of this compensation would not mean the slackening of the investigation into how the intelligence blunder occurred on Dec. 28, 2011. The victims, mostly teenagers, were smugglers from impoverished families bringing in small goods from Iraq. Erdoğan also said the government was taking measures to prevent the repetition of similar incidents and was considering the opening of a border-crossing point near the village of Gülyazı, where the victims lived.

International action
In a related development, the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), Turkey’s main Kurdish political organization, said it had asked the U.N. high commissioner for human rights to conduct an independent inquiry into the bombing and would also lodge a complaint with the International Criminal Court (ICC). Turkey has refused to sign the ICC treaty and recognize the court’s jurisdiction.

BDP Co-Chair Selahattin Demirtaş accused Erdoğan of being insincere in his pledges to investigate the botched raid and claimed it was the prime minister himself who gave the order for the bombing.

Demirtaş also slammed government efforts to force the closure of Roj TV on grounds it was the mouthpiece of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), arguing it should instead be allowed to broadcast from Turkey. He urged for an end to the solitary confinement of PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan and called for “the initiation of a negotiation process before the public eye.”

National security classes to end

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News

National security classes will be removed from the school curriculum next year, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced yesterday in another move by the government to reduce the military’s profile.

The national security subject, introduced to the curriculum in 1979, is taught by visiting military officers, a fact Erdoğan described as “odd.”

Certain sections of the national security lessons will be transferred to the citizenship knowledge classes, which are taught by civilian teachers, starting in the 2012-2013 school year, said Erdoğan.

PM Erdoğan,