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 BDP took Turkey's Roboski Kurdish massacre to International Criminal Court ICC

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BDP took Turkey's Roboski Kurdish massacre to International Criminal Court ICC  27.1.2012  

International Criminal Court in the Hague, Netherlands (photo 1)Locals gather in front of the bodies of people who were killed in a Turkish warplane attack in the Ortasu village of Uludere, in the Sirnak province [Turkey Kurdistan], on December 29, 2011. Turkish warplanes killed 23 Kurdish villagers in an air strike near the Iraqi Kurdistan border, Photo: EPA.  See Related Links
January 27, 2012

ANKARA, — The pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) has taken the case of Roboski massacre to the International Criminal Court.

BDP Commission of Law completed the file on the slaughter of 34 Kurdish civilians by Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) which bombed around Ortasu (Roboski) village in the Uludere district of Şırnak in Northern Kurdistan on December 28, 2011.

In the application, which includes photographs and reports on the event, the BDP requested an investigation into the massacre by ICC prosecutors.

BDP CP-Chair Selahattin Demirtaş on 24 January stated that they had appealed to UN Human Rights Council to investigate the Roboski massacre.

At a press conference in the Turkish Parliament on Friday, the (BDP) group chairman Hasip Kaplan explained the details of their appeal to International Criminal Court for the investigation on Roboski massacre. Remarking that the application to ICC was signed by BDP Co-Chairs Gültan Kışanak and Selahattin Demirtaş, Kaplan noted that the Roboski massacre wouldn’t be left in the dark.

The appeal, in connection with the “confidentiality decision” of Roboski case, voiced concerns about the concealing of the event just like earlier massacres which have been covered up so far, remarked Group Chair Kaplan.

Kaplan expressed their concerns about the current situation in Turkey which was the most convicted country by the ECHR and fell to the 148th rank in the list of freedom of expression in 2011. BDP Group Chair also criticized Prime Minister’s attitude to press members and remarked that the PM should speak on the basis of judiciary’s decisions, not records of the police organization.

Asked why BDP didn’t wait for the result of the legal process on the massacre, Kaplan said the followings; “We will apply to all ways in all areas regarding crimes against humanity because the Prime Minister is trying to cover up such a deep trouble and the prosecutor writes down the report at random and rules confidentiality on the case. The crimes against humanity concern everyone, not only nations themselves.”

The application by BDP requested an investigation into the massacre by ICC prosecutors and said that; “The mechanism of the Turkish state not only ignores and denies the reality of the Kurdish people in Turkey but also continuously violates the most basic human rights in terms of the recognition of the Kurdish identity and fulfillment of Kurdish people’s social, economic and cultural rights.”

Putting emphasis on the possibility of nonperformance of a real judgment by the government, the application remarked that the government prevented the revelation of the event by concealing necessary information and documents from legal authorities. The application in this respect pointed to the statements of government officials who deny any intentional act by security forces and promise investigation in case of the discovery of negligence.

Commenting the confidentiality verdict of Diyarbakir Public Prosecution Office as the evidence of a nontransparent investigation, the application requested ICC to urge Turkish and Iraqi states to conduct an expansive investigation into the massacre.

Underlining that the operation in the village of Roboski was carried out in opposition to international agreements and conventions on human rights, Geneva conventions and humanitarian law norms that Turkey also accedes to, the application remarked that the perpetrators of this massacre could only be revealed by means of international judgment mechanisms.

The application also consisted of statements made by PM Erdoğan and TSK (Turkish Armed Forces) after Roboski massacre and provided information about earlier committed massacres in the villages of Pınarcık, Silopi Derebaşı, Kuşkonar, Koçağalı and Peyanis.

Survivors and witnesses of the deadly incident have questioned the military's claim that they had mistaken the civilians for PKK members, saying the attacks were intentional. Turkish government has rejected the allegation.

Turkey's military command says it carried out the airstrikes after a spy drone spotted a group moving toward its sensitive southeastern border in darkness in the night, in an area known to be used by PKK guerrillas.

Also, since August 17, 2011 Turkish jets repeatedly carried out air strikes against the Kurdish PKK separatist group's bases in Iraqi Kurdistan region, under justification of chasing elements of the anti-Ankara PKK, forcing large numbers of Kurdish citizens of those areas to desert their home villages, including an air raid that killed 7 Kurdish civilians in a village north of Kurdistan’s Sulaimaniyah city on August 21, 2011.

Since it was established in 1984, the PKK has been fighting the Turkish state, which still denies the constitutional existence of Kurds, to establish a Kurdish state in the south east of the country, sparking a conflict that has claimed some 45,000 lives.

But now its aim is the creation an autonomous Kurdish region and more cultural rights for ethnic Kurds who constitute the greatest minority in Turkey, numbering more than 20 million. A large Turkey's Kurdish community openly sympathise with the Kurdish PKK rebels.

PKK's demands included releasing PKK detainees, lifting the ban on education in Kurdish, paving the way for an autonomous democrat Kurdish system within Turkey, reducing pressure on the detained PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan, stopping military action against the Kurdish party and recomposing the Turkish constitution.

Turkey refuses to recognize its Kurdish population as a distinct minority. It has allowed some cultural rights such as limited broadcasts in the Kurdish language and private Kurdish language courses with the prodding of the European Union, but Kurdish politicians say the measures fall short of their expectations.

PKK is considered as 'terrorist' organization by Ankara, U.S., the PKK continues to be on the blacklist list in EU despite court ruling which overturned a decision to place the Kurdish rebel group PKK and its political wing on the European Union's terror list. 

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