Military’s report on Uludere ‘not satisfactory’
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
The military’s report is ‘not a satisfactory response,’ says AKP’s Şener.A report sent by the General Staff to a parliamentary panel investigating the botched air in Southeast Anatolia late last year failed to offer sufficient information about how the bombing of the 34 civilians unfolded, senior lawmakers said yesterday.
The report said the intelligence that prompted the operation came from “national sources” but did not identify them, a member of the sub-committee of the Human Rights Commission which is handling the inquiry said on condition of anonymity.
“The report is not what it is supposed to be. It’s not a satisfactory response,” said the Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) İhsan Şener, who chairs the committee.
The report states that some documents related to the raid cannot be shared with the panel because of the secrecy decision the judicial authorities have imposed on the investigation, while stressing that the strike was conducted “in line with the rules of cross-border operations,” Şener said.
The seven-page document summarized events in the area over the past year and described the movements of the villagers as they were seen in footage taken by a drone that the panel had already watched, sources said.
At a meeting yesterday, the panel discussed the document, with members voicing disappointment over the General Staff’s failure to share documents and suggesting that a second report should be requested from the military.
The head of the Human Right Commission, Ayhan Sefer Üstün, said the secrecy of the judicial probe should not be a reason to withhold documents from the parliamentary inquiry and pledged efforts to ensure that the General Staff complies with the panel’s requests. The commission will decide in the coming days whether to ask for a new report, he added.
The 34 victims, most of them teenagers, were bombed after being mistaken for militants of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), but were actually local villagers involved in the smuggling of small goods from Iraq – a widespread practice in the impoverished region.
The authorities are yet to reveal who provided the intelligence that prompted the jets to launch the strike.
When the panel watched the footage of the raid taken by a drone flying over the area in February, opposition lawmakers said the victims were easily recognizable as civilians.