Uludere lawyer criticizes non-jurisdiction decision

Uludere lawyer criticizes non-jurisdiction decision

ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
Uludere lawyer criticizes non-jurisdiction decision

Female relatives seen visiting the graves of 34 victims killed in the southeastern province of Şırnak’s Uludere district, in an air strike on Dec. 28, 2011. DHA photo

The attorney advocating for the victims of the Uludere incident objected to the Diyarbakır prosecutor’s non-jurisdiction decision on the case. In the southeastern province of Şırnak’s Uludere district, some 34 civilian Kurdish villagers were killed in an air strike on Dec. 28, 2011, when they were allegedly mistaken for outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) members as they smuggled oil from northern Iraq into Turkey.

On June 11, a Diyarbakır court issued a decision of non-jurisdiction on the case, transferring it to a military court. The decision stirred many doubts since its report consists of four pages and three of them only include the names of the people killed and their relatives.

The attorney in the case, Şırnak Bar president Nuşirevan Elçi, told the Hürriyet Daily News that the decision was deliberately announced at a time when Gezi Park demonstrations were the top topic on the agenda.

“This scandal remained in the background, and the press did not pay much attention to it due to the Gezi Park incidents,” Elçi said. No one charged in the Uludere incident has been detained yet despite the deaths of 34, Elçi said. “The investigation is continuing without a hint of seriousness. If a reliable investigation had been made, both the Diyarbakır air tactics commander and the chief of General Staff would have been dismissed from their seats. Let alone these chiefs, not even one of the non-commissioned officers involved in the incident has been detained yet.”

“The authorities’ opinions were not asked and no effort has been made so far been to uncover the facts behind the incident,” Elçi added. Elçi said they were about to carry the case to the European Court of Human Rights, adding that there had been a decision of confidentiality on the case since the very beginning of the proceedings.

“Our trust in justice was harmed. Even if those charged appeal, they will be judged by the consciences of 76 million people,” Elçi said.