Turkish military prosecutors dismiss investigation into Uludere massacre

Photo: Turkish military prosecutors dismiss investigation into Uludere massacre / Turkey

The General Staff's Military Prosecutor's Office has dismissed the investigation into the Uludere/Roboski massacre, in which 34 civilians were killed in an air strike, a relative of victims announced via Twitter Jan. 7 Hurriyet Daily News reported .

"The investigation into Uludere has finalized. It was ruled to dismiss the charges. It was said the Turkish Armed Forces were not at fault," Ferhat Encu, who lost two brothers and other nine relatives in the airstrike.

The Republican People's Party (CHP) deputy head Sezgin Tanrikulu confirmed the ruling to daily Hurriyet. "I have spoken with Ferhat Encu. The investigation was dismissed. The decision will probably be announced soon," Tanrikulu said.

Thirty-four civilian villagers were killed in the air strike near the Turkish-Iraqi border in the Uludere/Roboski district of Sirnak, allegedly mistaken for outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militants as they smuggled goods into Turkey.

The government is widely criticized for the approval of a report drafted by a sub-commission of the Human Rights Inquiry Commission that cleared the army for the massacre.

The parliamentary report issued on March 2013 after 15 months of inquiry concluded no evidence was

found to prove the attack was intentional. It eventually decided "poor coordination" between the army and intelligence as the main reason behind the deaths.

Last June, a civilian court in Diyarbakir conducting the investigation issued a controversial decision of non-jurisdiction on the case, transferring it to a military court.

"In the statement I made a year-and-a-half ago, I said, 'the Diyarbakir court will rule on non-jurisdiction, the military court will dismiss the investigation.' We now see all that happening," Tanrikulu said.

CHP's Kurdish deputy said Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was to be held responsible of the situation at the first degree, while Chief of General Staff Necdet Ozel should be counted as responsible at the second degree. "They are acquitting each other," Tanrikulu said.

Encu re-confirmed via his Twitter, having spoken with his lawyers who validated the decision.

"The killer state has been acquitted once again. What can be said? We have been fighting for two years, howling for conscience. Does anyone hear?" Encu asked.

'Erdogan will be tried for war crimes'

Citing a decision from the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), Tanrikulu argued Erdogan may even be tried for war crimes in an international tribunal.

"The ECHR said such an operation was even contrary to laws of war. I am claiming, Prime Minister Erdogan will sooner or later be tried at the International Criminal Court for this incident as someone who has committed crimes against humanity," Tanrikulu said.

Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtas accused Erdogan of knowing who gave the instructions for the airstrike.

Erdogan has met with families of the Uludere massacre victims during a fast-breaking dinner in July, where he reportedly said he was not the one who had ordered the strike.

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