Top court refuses appeal by families of Uludere victims

Top court refuses appeal by families of Uludere victims

Top court refuses appeal by families of Uludere victims Turkey’s top court has refused an appeal by the families of the 34 people who were killed by a Turkish jet airstrike on the Iraq border in late 2011 on procedural grounds, around a year-and-a-half after the families filed their individual complaints to the court.

The Constitutional Court (AYM) refused the complaints for “lacking documents,” Murat Arslan, the president of the Judges and Prosecutors Union (YARSAV), announced on Feb. 26.

“While everybody has focused on the Dündar-Gül ruling, the AYM has silently closed the Roboski file. The AYM has refused the application on the grounds that lacking documents have not been completed in the Roboski application, which it has kept waiting for two years,” Arslan said, referring to landmark Feb. 25 ruling by the court which paved the way for the release of daily Cumhuriyet editor-in-chief Can Dündar and Ankara bureau chief Erdem Gül.

“The AYM is like a mehter team [a traditional Ottoman military band]; it takes one step forward and two steps back,” Arslan said, referring to the team’s manner of marching.

A total of 34 civilians, who were allegedly mistaken for outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants while smuggling goods into Turkey, were killed in what was later termed the Uludere or Roboski massacre on Dec. 28, 2011, in attacks carried out by F-16s and unmanned aerial vehicles.

The Turkish General Staff’s prosecutor’s office in January 2014 dismissed the investigation into the massacre, saying in its ruling that military officers had made an “inevitable” mistake while performing their duty. 

The applications by the families of the 34 victims, including 18 children, were filed in the summer of 2014.