Turkey calls for probe into civilian deaths in Ukraine’s Bucha

Turkey calls for probe into civilian deaths in Ukraine’s Bucha

Turkey calls for probe into civilian deaths in Ukraine’s Bucha

Turkish Foreign Ministry on April 6 called for an independent investigation into the murder of civilians in the town of Bucha and other cities in Ukraine.

“The images of the massacre, which have been published in the press from various regions including Bucha and Irpin near Kiev, are appalling and sad for humanity. We share the pain of the Ukrainian people,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Targeting innocent civilians is unacceptable, said the statement.

“It is our main expectation that the matter will be subject to an independent investigation and that those responsible will be identified and held accountable,” the ministry stated.

Turkey will continue to work to put an end to such “shameful” scenes for humanity and to ensure peace as soon as possible, it added.

This was the second reaction from Ankara aside from a tweet by the Turkish Embassy in Ukraine on April 4 after dozens of bodies were found in mass graves or littering the streets near the Ukrainian capital over the weekend. The embassy had called for an independent investigation into the massacres and said, “Identifying those who are responsible by holding an independent investigation into the issue is our main expectation.” The message followed footage coming from areas liberated by the Ukrainian army showing civilians killed and buried in mass graves.

Ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) spokesperson Ömer Çelik also said these “inhuman acts” need to be investigated. “Unfortunately, it is seen that there are some actions that do not comply with the laws of war and that there are massacres,” he said.

NATO member Turkey has strong ties with both Russia and Ukraine and has been mediating for dialogue between the two warring countries.

The Ukrainian army retook control of the key commuter town of Bucha outside Kiev just a few days ago and said it had found dozens of bodies after Russian forces pulled out.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has called the killings “war crimes” and “genocide” and Western countries have ramped up sanctions against Russia in reaction to the deaths.

But the Kremlin has denied the accusations and claimed the images emerging from Bucha and other towns are fakes produced by Ukrainian forces, or that the deaths occurred after Russian soldiers pulled out.

Turkish embassy staff returns Kiev

Turkey’s embassy staff, which had moved to Chernivtsi near the Romanian border in March for security reasons, returned to Kiev, the Foreign Ministry said. Turkey’s Ambassador to Kiev Yağmur Güldere told broadcaster NTV that they have evacuated 16,700 people so far and that the process is still underway for the rest of the Turks in Ukraine.

Elaborating on Turkey’s two military cargo aircraft that were stranded in Kiev, the ambassador emphasized that the airspace security is still not convenient for evacuation of the planes.