Özel’s alleged words on Kandil attack spark row
ANKARA – Hürriyet Daily News
Gen. Özel allgedly say that Turkey could go into the Kurdistan Workers’ Party’s (PKK) bases in Kandil (Mountain) in the event of certain conditions being met. AP photoThe Chief of General Staff Necdet Özel reportedly said that Turkey could go into the Kurdistan Workers’ Party’s (PKK) bases in Kandil (Mountain) in the event of certain conditions being met, a newspaper reported yesterday. However, on their website the General Staff announced that Özel’s statements had been manipulated.
Özel reportedly told the leader of the Islamist Great Unity Party (BBP), Mustafa Destici, that PKK bases in Kandil could be destroyed by the Turkish Army, but three conditions were necessary for this, daily Radikal reported.
“The Turkish state should be determined [in their decision], the U.S. should be convinced and the public should be prepared for heavy losses,” Özel was quoted as saying.
The Uludere massacre was also spoken about at the meeting, Destici reportedly said.
“Some of the 34 killed civilians in Uludere air raid were armed terrorists,” Özel also reportedly said. “Guns were taken away [from the place where the civilians were killed] when we arrived there,” Özel was quoted as saying by Destici.
Some 34 civilians in the southeastern village of Uludere were killed in a military air raid by the Turkish Army, while smuggling on the border with northern Iraq on Dec. 28, 2011.
“The truths about the Uludere incident will come to light soon,” Özel also reportedly said.
According to the report, Özel was standing against the Turkish Armed Forces being tied to the Ministry of Defense on the grounds that “some political activities in the army could cause harm the unity of the staff.”
The Turkish Armed Forces immediately issued a press release on their website, following the claims released by Radikal.
“The topics discussed in this meeting took place in the media with some different meanings attributed to them,” the statement read.
Meanwhile, BBP leader Mustafa Destici issued a written announcement to complain that his own words were reported as if they were Özel’s statements.