Sunday, September 02, 2007


"All of the efforts that we have developed to pave the way towards peace are being destroyed by military operations. The most recent example of this is that the bodies of the dead killed in a military operation in the provinces of Sirnak were not given back to their families. This situation only strengthens allegations that chemical weapons were used during the operation."
~ DTP Statement on World Peace Day.

Hevallo has been keeping up with the continued joint Iranian/Turkish bombardment of South Kurdistan, so you should check his blog for the latest. He notes the persistent and deafening silence of Western warmongers over this matter. As per the article linked in Hevallo's post:

Even in Washington, where any interference by Iran in Iraqi affairs normally results in accusations and warnings from the Bush administration, any opposition to the Iranian attacks on the border region remains firmly behind closed doors.

Interestingly enough, a short report on a condemnation by the MEK's Maryam Rajavi of the bombardment begins thusly:

Despite international condemnations of the mullahs’ regime for shelling people of Iraqi Kurdistan, the brutal attacks continue.

The question here that immediately pops to mind is: What international condemnations? There have been no international condemnations.

And so it goes because, in addition to the joint Iranian/Turkish bombardment of South Kurdistan, there is another set of war crimes that go unmentioned by the West. But these crimes, too, are not unnoticed. They are the use of chemical weapons by NATO's second largest army against Kurdish gerîlas. From Özgür Gündem:

11 HPG guerrillas were martyred in Uzungecit, Sirnak. It was claimed that chemical weapons were used against the guerrillas. The claim was supported by the deaths of two horses and eight sheep in the area where the operation took place.

On 23 August, TSK operation against the guerrillas resulted in the following HPG martyrs: Zarife Adıbelli (Roza Mardin), Şenay Güçer (Delila Meyaser), Rahime Tuncer (Avesta Amed), İdris Babat (Xwinrej Botan), Ahmet Kara (Adok Farqin), İshak Yakut (Amed Akdağ), Deniz Türk (Andok Deniz), Eyüp Haydar (Erdal Serkeftin), Aziz Muhammed (Eşref Cilo), Nasır Aydın (İsyan Brusk) and Cebrail Turan (Rohat Dilpak)

After examining the bodies of the guerrillas, it was claimed that chemical weapons were used based on signs on the bodies. In addition to the signs, two horses and eight sheep died while they were grazing in the area where the operation took place. Shepherds said, "We took our sheep for grazing as usual. yesterday we took them to the place where the operation took place. Eight of the animals fell down after grazing for a while. After we realized they were dead, we took the rest of the flock away. Meanwhile, two horses died."

It was the use of chemical weapons against the gerîlas that sparked the Amed Serhildan last year:

The clashes started with the killing of 14 HPG (People’s Defensive Forces of Kurdish Liberation Movement (KLM)) guerrilla fighters. The HPG claimed that chemical weapons had been used against the guerrillas and demanded that NGOs should investigate the incidence. The families of the guerrillas said that they saw burns and other signs of chemical weapons on their corpses. This information triggered large-scale demonstrations in Diyarbakir during the funeral.

Chemical weapons had been used in an operation in February 2006, just previous to the one that killed the 14 gerîlas and set off region-wide demonstrations:

Starting on February 26, 2006, multiple Kurdish news sources in Europe broadcast allegations by Kurdish villagers that the Turkish military had used chemical weapons during a military operation against PKK rebels.

[ . . . ]

These allegations motivated many Kurdish residents of the Dargecit District to take part in demonstrations condemning the Turkish military operation. After thousands attended the funerals of the seven men, Turkish forces allegedly set up blockades within the Dargecit District and arrested 28 villagers.

Murat Karayilan, chairman of the Democratic Confederation of Kurdistan, was quoted by Firat (a pro-Kurdish European news agency) as saying, “There is some evidence indicating that the [Turkish] government has used chemical weapons against our legitimate defense forces during the fighting that took place in Kerboran [Dargecit District]. We call on human rights organizations and pro-democracy organizations to investigate those reports.

In April 2006, DozaMe posted a link to the bodies of several HPG gerîlas who had been killed by TSK's use of chemical weapons in 2003. The bodies appeared to have been burned by a chemical blister agent. Around the same time in April of 2006, Bianet reported on the Turkish government's decision to bury HPG gerîlas in the field where they were killed, even without proper autopsy procedures. Such a decision violates international law as well as the European Convention on Human Rights. In addition, it's ironic that Ankara's Islamist-dominated government virtually declared Kurds of Turkish-occupied Kurdistan to be infidels, by adopting the procedure of "burial where killed," as DozaMe noted at the time.

The Kurdish-dominated DTP had called for an investigation into the accusation of the use of chemical weapons by the Turkish military in 2006. Last week, DTP accused the TSK of using chemical weapons, citing the information originally published on ÖG as given above. More on that at TDN. Last Friday, the Ankara chief prosecutor's office brought an investigation against DTP parliamentarian Ahmet Türk for his statement on the TSK's use of chemical weapons in Turkish-occupied Kurdistan.

From Sabah we learn that the policy of "burial where killed" is still in effect. Naturally this policy suits the Turkish general staff because it allows the state to murder with chemical weapons and then hide the evidence of the use of such weapons of mass destruction on the battlefield.

It should be noted that Turkey is a signatory to the Chemical Weapons Convention and is a member of The Australia Group, an organization devoted to "ridding the world of chemical and biological weapons."

However, a report put together last year by Defense and Foreign Affairs Strategic Policy mentioned a secret directive of the Turkish general staff dated 25 February 1986, which outlined the orders and directions given for the use of chemical weapons by the TSK against the PKK. The directive was signed by Major General Necdet Öztorun. In the summer of 1989, a Turkish magazine (İkibine Dorğu) published information about the directive. In 1999, the use of chemical weapons against Kurdish gerîlas in Şirnex was confirmed by the Institute of Forensic Medicine at the University of Munich. The information was broadcast on the German TV channel, ZDF. Apparently, the chemical used in the attack in Şirnex had been supplied to Turkey by a German company.

As mentioned by Defense and Foreign Affairs Strategic Policy, there have been a number of reports of the use of chemical weapons by the Turkish military against the PKK dating back to the beginning of the 1990s, including: a chemical attack in February 1988 in which 30 gerîlas were killed in Bakok and reported by The Cyprus Mail; the use of chemical weapons against gerîlas in September 1991, in Dersim near Genç, as reported by The Baltimore Sun; and a reference by IHD of the deaths of 20 gerîlas in July 2001, in Dersim's Elmalı area, by the Turkish military's use of chemical weapons.

Although you won't read or hear about this in Western media because it won't look good that a NATO member is using WMD's against one of it's own minority ethnic groups, at least we know who really has WMD's in the Middle East and who is using them.

In the meantime, check the new body count at DozeMe.

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