Opposition bashes gov’t on intelligence
ISTANBUL / ANKARA
CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu calls the government to apologize. AA PhotoOpposition parties sharpened criticism of the government yesterday over the killing of 35 civilians in an air raid intended for Kurdish militants, urging a thorough investigation and apology to the victims’ families.
“This incident is the Justice and Development Party’s [AKP] 2011 version of the ‘33 bullets’ incident,” Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu told reporters yesterday, likening the Dec. 28 raid to the infamous incident in 1943 when 33 Kurdish smugglers were executed on the orders of an army general in the eastern province of Van, widely referred to as “the 33 bullets” incident.
Gen. Mustafa Muğlalı, who ordered the shooting of the detained smugglers in 1943, was condemned to death in 1949, but his sentence was later commuted to 20 years in prison due to his advanced age.
Kılıçdaroğlu urged the government to “immediately” apologize to the victims’ families and send ministers to the border region.
“It must be first clarified who supplied this intelligence. If the intelligence said they were terrorists, then it must be clarified whether the pilots performed their duty. Which institution gave this intelligence? How can a country whose intelligence is in such chaos be powerful in the Middle East?” he said.
Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli urged a thorough investigation into the raid. “The truth should not be covered up. The government should not fall into the mistake of slowing down the struggle against terrorism,” he told reporters.
Bahçeli said the incident could have been orchestrated as a “trap” to overshadow Turkey’s struggle against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), calling on the authorities to investigate
who had directed the smugglers to use the route where attack happened.