Skip to main content

Death upon death - The latest innocent casualties of Turkey’s military escalation against the Kurds - A TRAGIC blunder, a cynical massacre or a deliberate attempt to undermine Turkey’s government? The question was raised on December 28th, when Turkish F-16 war planes dropped bombs on a group of Kurdish civilians just south of the Turkish border in the mountains of Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq, killing 34 of them. Security officials in Sirnak, a Turkish town near the site, blamed a lack of co-ordination between the civilian and military authorities. “The governor [of Sirnak] had no idea what had happened until hours after the bombing,” said one.

The victims, aged between 13 and 28, were smugglers from villages in Turkey’s south-east who routinely bring in Iraqi fuel and cigarettes with the full knowledge of local authorities. Nearly 80 mules carrying the contraband also perished. In an ironic twist the smugglers belonged to the “village guards”, a pro-state militia that had taken up arms against rebels of the separatist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the ostensible target of the raid.

Thousands of Kurds across the country took to the streets in protest. Selahattin Demirtas, leader of the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy (BDP) party, accused the government of deliberately massacring innocent civilians to intimidate his people. A huge banner calling Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s prime minister, a “murderer” was draped across a tent in one of the smugglers’ villages...

Read more:

Add new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.

Plain text

CAPTCHA This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.