Turkish PM gave order in Uludere air strike, BDP co-chair says
BDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş (L). AA Photo
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan ordered the Air Force to strike 34 people in Uludere last year based on intelligence that there was a high-profile militant among the group, Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş said today.
“It was said that there was a high-profile PKK [outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party] member among [the group], but information about other civilians was also given to the prime minister,” Demirtaş said during protests in the southeastern district on the incident’s first anniversary, daily Radikal has reported.
Demirtaş also said then-District Gov. Naif Yavuz had claimed the evidence pointing to those responsible seemed fairly obvious in the matter but that the official was banished to western Turkey after the incident.
The Chief of General Staff was also informed about the raid, the BDP co-chair added.
Some 34 civilian Kurdish villagers were killed in the air strike on Dec. 28, 2011, when they were allegedly mistaken for PKK militants as they were smuggling oil from northern Iraq into Turkey.
Thousands protest air strike in Turkey
An official says thousands are protesting the government on the first anniversary of a botched Turkish military air strike aimed at suspected members of outlawed Kurdistan Worker's Party that instead killed 34 civilians, The Associated Press reported.
Protesters are denouncing the government’s failure to keep a promise to investigate the incident and hold those responsible to account for the attack that struck a group of smugglers - most of them youngsters - who were crossing the border into Turkey from Iraq with mules.
Kurdish legislator Nazmi Gür said several thousand people were marching Friday to a cemetery near the border with Iraq. Dogan news agency video footage showed protesters shouting anti-government slogans.
The New-York based Human Rights Watch has also called on the government to launch "an effective and transparent inquiry" into the attack.