News / Middle East

Turkish Kurds Want Accountability for Mistaken Air Strike

Pro-Kurdish demonstrators calling themselves 'Peace Mothers' (C) hold a sit-in protest against air strikes on the Iraqi border that killed 34 Turkish Kurd smugglers, in front of the office of Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan at the parliament in AnkaPro-Kurdish demonstrators calling themselves 'Peace Mothers' (C) hold a sit-in protest against air strikes on the Iraqi border that killed 34 Turkish Kurd smugglers, in front of the office of Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan at the parliament in Anka
x
Pro-Kurdish demonstrators calling themselves 'Peace Mothers' (C) hold a sit-in protest against air strikes on the Iraqi border that killed 34 Turkish Kurd smugglers, in front of the office of Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan at the parliament in Anka
Pro-Kurdish demonstrators calling themselves 'Peace Mothers' (C) hold a sit-in protest against air strikes on the Iraqi border that killed 34 Turkish Kurd smugglers, in front of the office of Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan at the parliament in Anka
Dorian Jones
This Friday marks the first anniversary of the killing of 34 Kurdish smugglers by a mistaken Turkish air strike. The incident remains contentious in Turkey, with pressure both nationally and internationally on the government to punish those responsible.

The 34 Turkish Kurds who were killed were smuggling contraband from neighboring Iraq. They were hit by an air strike from the Turkish military after being mistaken for members of the Kurdish rebel group, the PKK.

The victims came from the village of Uludere, or Roboski in Kurdish. With around half of those killed being teenagers, it caused a national outcry. One year later, family members of those who died are still coming to terms with their loss.

Demanding action

One woman said her family's life has completely changed. She recalled that her son was cheerful, and she said that when she see his friends come back from the school, she watches them from a window and can't help but cry.

The government, after initially defending the military action, offered compensation to the families and promised a full investigation. Criticism is growing both domestically and internationally, however, over the pace of the probes.

Emma Sinclair Webb is a senior researcher for the U.S.-based Human Rights Watch [HRW].

"The criminal investigation that is being undertaken, there seems to be no progress in that. We also do not know when the parliamentary sub commission that has been tasked into looking into this incident will conclude its own investigation," said Webb. "And it looks like there is huge reluctance at the top to see a open investigation into full circumstances that led to 34 villagers being killed."

The government says that in the past, inquiries would not have happened with the Turkish military being above such scrutiny.

But Turkey's opposition parties have become increasingly critical about the pace of the inquiries and are voicing growing doubts that that those responsible will ever be held to account.

Growing concern

Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party member Ertugrul Kurkcu is a part of the parliamentary investigation committee looking into the killings.

"A primary roadblock in this investigation is the chief of staff because they do not deliver the information in their hands, but also this government because the government does not press the chief of staff," said Kurkcu.

Political scientist Cengiz Aktar of Istanbul’s Bahcesehir University said the failure by Turkey's ruling party to fully investigate the killings and hold those responsible sends worrying messages.  

"It's a very important issue, in terms of running the country, in terms of transparency, in terms of control of the military and it tells us the value of the second class citizens that the Kurds are in this country," said Aktar.

According to Turkish media reports, the parliamentary inquiry into the killings could publish its findings early next year.

Observers say with the Turkish military appearing not to be fully cooperating, though, and under no pressure to do so, expectations remain low in Turkey that the truth of what happened will come to light.

You May Like

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

Euro falls after European Central Bank announces a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program More

Saudi King’s Death Clears Succession Route

Prince Mohammed Bin Nayef is Saudi Arabia's New Crown Prince-in-waiting More

Cloud Hangs Over US Counterterrorism Efforts in Yemen

Sources say resignations of Yemen's president, government has left US anti-terror operations 'paralyzed,' yet an American military 'footprint' remains More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Kurdman from: Amed
December 28, 2012 11:26 PM
It's sad that the Turkish government has not found who is beyond this brutal attack. It is evident for many that this massacre was carried out by government since the PM Erdogan has not even apologized for the innocent civilians.

One word for the editor of the site and the author of the article is that "Turkish Kurd" is an inaccurate way of putting it. A Kurd cannot be Turkish at the same time. Unlike Iraq, Iran and Syria, the word Turkish refers to somebody of Turkish origin and blood.

While you can say Iraqi Kurd or Iranian Kurd, the adjective here determines where that Kurd is from. These adjectives do bot necessarily refer to nationality or ethnic identity, but to geography!
Therefore, you'd rather say "Turkey's Kurds" or "Kurds of Turkey" instead of saying "Turkish Kurds"...

Thanks to Dorian Jones for his objective reporting on Kurds in Turkey.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youthi
X
Julie Taboh
January 23, 2015 11:08 PM
Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.
Video

Video Secular, Religious Kurds Face Off in Southeast Turkey

Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast has been rocked by violence between religious and secular Kurds. Dorian Jones reports on the reasons behind the stand-off from the region's main city of Diyarbakir, which suffered the bloodiest fighting.
Video

Video Kenya: Misuse of Antibiotics Leading to Resistance by Immune System

In Kenya, the rise of drug resistant bacteria could reverse the gains made by medical science over diseases that were once treatable. Kenyans could be at risk of fatalities as a result if the power in antibiotics is not preserved. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story from Nairobi.
Video

Video Solar-Powered Plane Getting Ready to Circumnavigate Globe

Pilots of the solar plane that already set records flying without a drop of fuel are close to making their first attempt to fly the craft around the globe. They plan to do it in 25 flying days over a five month period. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video How Experts Decide Ethiopia Has the Best Coffee

Ethiopia’s coffee has been ranked as the best in the world by an international group of coffee connoisseurs. Not surprisingly, coffee is a top export for the country. But at home it is a source of pride. Marthe van der Wolf in Addis Ababa decided to find out what makes the bean and brew so special and how experts make their determinations.
Video

Video Yazidi Refugees at Center of Political Fight Between Turkey, Kurds

The treatment of thousands of Yazidis refugees who fled to Turkey to escape attacks by Islamic State militants has become the center of a dispute between the Turkish government and the country's pro-Kurdish movement. VOA's Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video World’s Richest 1% Forecast to Own More Than Half of Global Wealth

The combined wealth of the world's richest 1 percent will overtake that of the remaining 99 percent at some point in 2016, according to the anti-poverty charity Oxfam. Campaigners are demanding that policymakers take action to address the widening gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid