BDP opposition comment against Uludere Sub-commission report

The majority report by the sub-commission appointed to investigate “Roboski massacre” came to the worst possible conclusion after a year and a half.

To the TBMM Human Rights Commission

Here is my opposition comment against Uludere Sub-commission report

Submitted for your information

 

 

Ertuğrul KÜRKÇÜ
Mersin Deputy

 

 

 

The majority report by the sub-commission appointed to investigate “Roboski massacre” came to the worst possible conclusion after a year and a half.

 

Sub-commission majority, as their task description, had to understand, explain and bring out whoever was responsible for the massacre happened at midnight of 28-29 December 2011, but they failed to answer all  questions that they had to find answers to.

 

Moreover, they didn’t mind blaming the people of Roboski as if they were the reason for the massacre. The report didn’t deem it a crime to bomb 34 innocent citizens –which would require 34 life-sentences, with two F-16 planes of the Turkish Armed Forces. Only guilty party they pointed their fingers at were the villagers of Roboski whose only crime was to carry goods back and forth on the border that separated their historical land in two.

 

The report was finished with a conclusion full of security suggestions in battling with smuggling, leaving the massacre untouched. Unfortunately, it did not mention the names of those who were responsible. It did not propose any sanctions for them. Thus, the suspicion that the report was delayed in order to prevent the culprits from being found out and cover up the massacre were confirmed.

 

This conclusion can not be accepted. This conclusion can not be associated with humanity, the truth, the justice, the constitutional state and the principle of the sovereignty of people.

 

As we will elaborate further, this conclusion has direct link to the political preferences of the members who endorsed the report, as they are direct component of the political power, the commissioners see it their duty to approve every activity of the executive and/or they can not disapprove due to a web of mutual dependence. However, the blindness of the commission majority (that written a report describing the events on the night of 28-29 December as an image in a “camera obscura” and the way they canonized this upside-down image as truth with clear conscience) comes from the nature of domination. The ones who approved of the report can only have the perspective of the operation organizers – the protectors of the monist state’s domination – and not the ones whose rights to life were violated – the poor Kurdish villagers of Roboski.  Otherwise they can not see anything or give meaning to anything. From the perspective of the commission majority, the things that contradicts with the high benefit of the state can not be perceived as truth. The commission is heading towards destroying the truth in Roboski with this report in order to end the uncomfortable situation caused by this blindness. The report we are holding is nothing but the record of the truth destroying process by the sub-commission. But because of same reason, the report does not exist for the majority of people.

 

The purpose of this opposition comment is not only to show the dire handicaps of the report but to reach a truth that can not be seen if not looked from the perspective of the Roboski people and the millions that are thirsty for justice and truth. Also, to expose this crime that was committed against humanity and to help TBMM (the commission was one of its the major components as a political unit) to rise up to the role as the protector of the people’s rights.

 

1.      Method

  • Improper investigation method
    The way the report was handicapped with conclusion that is exact opposite of truth is the result of the perspective we described above and also the method that was opposite of the way the investigation had to be carried out.

 

  • The commission had adapted an inductive method (right from the start, against my objections) which made it unavoidable to come up with results contradictory to the purpose. According to this, the commission starting with the scene that incident happened, took steps upward and backward, from sergeant major to division commander in Sirnak, from there to General Staff *genel kurmay, and understand how the massacre had happened. By looking at the results, it is possible to deduce, it wasn’t just making a mistake but choosing a wrong way of doing things. Because, by following this road, the only thing we could achieve would be to waste time and wait for the General Staff (which we knew was the militarily accountable for every moment of the massacre) to bring forth self-incriminating documentation and information to the sub-commission. And that’s what happened.

 

 

Whereas the exact opposite road should have been taken. Because the massacre happened in 5-6 kilometers within the Iraqi border, thus had a “cross-border” character, a deductive  method should have been followed, the investigation should have began from the highest political and military culprits, the political and military culprits that gave the “order to shoot” should be established considering “permission for cross-border activity” and “rules of engagement” were the frame of this responsibility.

 

 

Actually, the various explanations Prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan made not too long after the massacre, to answer direct and indirect accusations against himself and General Staff, did not leave a room for doubt and question mark.

 

“(our) General Staff stated that they started an investigation. I have talked         about this with the Head of General Staff. I thank him and commend echelon      for their sensibilities in spite of the media” (3 January 2012)

 

“In regards to giving directive, it worked the way the existing system works.      The permission given to the security forces were used by them within their    own campaign and discretion” (20 May 2012)

 

Primeminister’s explanation on January 3rd  was to protect the General Staff, but his explanation on May 20th  directly made the massacre General Staff’s responsibility. Commission majority did not concern itself with understanding this contradiction, didn’t investigate how the rules of engagement were in a cross-border operation and didn’t question the truthfulness of the primeminister’s words.

 

“Rules of engament” are, the rules and directives that define the circumstance, degree and method of using force or going into activities that can be seen as provocative by the armed forces including individuals. These rules are about, among other things, use of force and to give or not to give authority to engage in certain abilities.

 

The explanation of the prime minster had an important effect on people understanding how “Rules of engagement” plays a specific role in Turkey’s cross-border activities and on the media which covered ideas about this notion. Prime minister Erdogan made this statement on 26 June 2012:

 

“The rules of engagement for Turkish Armed Forces have changed. Every military element coming from the Syrian side to the Turkish border will be seen as a threat”

 

But when it is understood that the change wasn’t limited to this, also “order to shoot” authority changed hands as well, Minister of National Defence Ismet Yilmaz said on 14 November 2012, the “order to shoot” which was on Prime minister Erdogan was passed on to the on-the-scene generals in the context of the conflict with Syria.

 

Thus, the question that the sub-commission should have searched for an answer, took shape with the information flowing from open sources to the public arena: “Do “order to shoot” authority belong to the General Staff or to Prime minister? Or belonged to them both?”

 

But the head of the commission waited for months and wasted time by waiting the General Staff to (not)send the self-incriminating documents. The commission also ran away from the matter of the primeminister’s responsibility as “rumor of it is worse than itself” and did not utter a word about it.

 

For the information that didn’t come from the General Staff and was hid from the sub-commission –especially after the Wall Street Journal published an article claiming a drone was involved in the incident- TBMM deemed my information request from Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government and US Department of Defence inappropriate justifying as “foreign states might deceive our commission”

 

Thus, from the mid 2012 to today, the sub-commission took the road of the majority and couldn’t reach anywhere and to any information. The time just went by wasted. No matter how hard majority of sub-commission made excuses for this wait, in the eyes of the people of Roboski and the public which waited for the investigation results in the hopes that the perpetrators wouldn’t go scot-free, the attitude was just called “divertion of the public”, “cooling down the incident”, and “exonerating the ones in power and authority” in order to make time and opportunity.

 

The sub-commission majority shouldn’t look at these comments as easily dismissible just because they are coming from the “opposition”. This doubt, even accusations, were so widespread in the public eye that even the Yeni Safak newspaper, which there is no doubt about their closeness to the government, commentator Abdulkadir Selvi criticized the report with these words:

 

“Uludere report of the Parliament is not enough to explain anything. The mountain gave birth to a mouse”

 

We have to ask this question: Did the sub-commission came up with this report because they were desperate and couldn’t change the road they had taken or did they get on that road by wanting and willing that it would result this way and reached the result it wanted with this report?

 

In fact, the sub-commission majority report did not mention this other report: 2 state inspectors and a special gendarme inspector assigned by the ministry of internal affairs wrote a report. It pointed out an exact opposite conclusion. This report starting with the way the incident happened, included statements from all the military personnel they could reach and trying to go as far as they could go, it showed with evidence that none of the reasons given for an air strike were concrete, open, close and specific to call for such destruction. By looking at the way the sub-commission avoided the contradictions in the findings of the two reports we can answer this question as “yes”. Yes, the commission majority took a road that left the General Staff and the government out of investigation and succeeded in penning a report with no subject. “Who killed the 34 villagers from Roboski?” was answered with “the planes”.

 

This unacceptable deduction is the inevitable result of the road they had taken. But this road was chosen, so that this result could be achieved.

 

  • Secrecy and anti-democratic nature of the sub-commission activities
  • ·The sub-commission like other Parliament commissions worked under the strict control of the head of commission and biased towards the majority, namely AKP.  Clearity, transparency and the principles of plurality were breached in every phase of its activities. Furthermore all activities from the beginning were performed under an unjustified umbrella of “secrecy.” Everything was a “secret”: the report prepared by the Ministry of Interior, info note from the General Staff, the files arrived from Diyarbakir Special High Criminal Court, footage from drones…

 

Against specific internal regulations of the Parliament members of parliament who were not a member of the commission were prevented from joining the meeting without any reasonable cause. Finally on the meeting where the draft report was negotiated majority voted for a “closed session.” As a result the report itself was deemed a “secret.” I would like to note that despite the fact that there are no regulations against a commission member to obtain a copy of the report’s draft that he was working on, the exercise of seizure of drafts after primary audience was derogatory, unacceptable and in reality impossible to implement. Even though there is no force to take back the drafts from the members of parliament within or outside the assembly those are left solely with the discretion of the commission secretariat it only means to me that the only reason behind that behavior is to avoid the speculations that could undermine the subject matter of the discussions and could have arisen  as a result of the debacles in the commission among members.

 

 

This unproductive and discouraging modes of activity, meaningless and incoherent fuss over secrecy made especially the work of opposition MP’s difficult, restricted their efforts and annulled their possibility to work on digital medium. It resulted in collapsing productivity as well as the capacity of the members to work together evaporating the possibility of reaching a common result after only a few meetings.

 

 

However it is not difficult to argue that that modus operandi did not derive simply from guff but it related to the result desired to be gained with that report.  It was only natural for a committee which took up the job of writing a report at the same time trying to expurgate the facts about the massacre it examines contrary to the public expectations, to make sure the report to reach the public as late as possible and with the smallest profile as possible. However in reality the commission did not serve any purpose other than postponing its report for more than a year which could as well be published on May 2012, so that it will elude the eyes of the press and putting its finger where it hurts the people of Roboski most. That way the common mission of the sub-commission was destroyed and a text which only certifies the elusion of the majority from reality, earning no one’s respect and therefore hidden from the public like a sin was created.

 

 

2.         How  the Roboski massacre did actually happen?

The report narrates the events based on the remarks by the General Staff since it was impossible to hide the fact that it was a massacre and the report aimed to cover-up that very fact.

 

However that narration itself was purely fiction from the start to the end. That very construction which is made up of stitching unfounded claims one after another and crumbling when tested by the truth almost aims in the acceptance of the following statement: The responsible party for the massacre was the Roboski villagers themselves by engaging in smuggling activities within an “area of terror.”  No element of that fictive construction could be affirmed by the events or facts.

 

General Staff’s note dated December 29th, 2011 states:

 

1. Cross border operations by Turkish Armed Forces are carried on based on the authority granted by the Turkish parliament on October 17th, 2007 and renewed every year for a one year period.

 

 

2. We have received intelligence that leaders of the terrorist organization have given the orders to retaliate as a result of their recent heavy losses and several terrorists have been sent to Sinat-Haftanin region as enforcements.

 

3. As a result of diverse intelligence and technical analyses, it has been understood that terrorist groups lead by ringleaders were merged in the region and in preparation to attack our stations and bases along the border, and our units concerned were warned.

 

4. Previous surrendered terrorist statements show that during the attacks of separatist terror organization terrorists brought heavy weapons, ammunition and explosives on beasts of burden from Iraq and entered through our borders.

 

5. As a result of increased intelligence on the possible attacks of the separatist terror members from Northern Iraq to the border stations and bases reconnaissance and surveillance efforts were increased throughout our borders. In that context on December 28th at 18:39 hours a moving froup within Iraqi border was observed via drone footage.

 

6. Because of the fact that the area the group was in fell into one of the areas commonly used by terrorists and a movement was observed towards our border during night hours, it has been determined that the group should be fired upon using Air Forces aircraft and fire opened on the target between the hours of 21:37 and 22.24.

 

7. The area of the incident was an area where separatist terror organization has main camps and without any civilian occupation, Sinat-Haftanin region of Northern Iraq.

 

8. Administrative and legal investigation and procedures about the event are in progress.

 

The information originating from the General Staff and the above statement were included in the report by the majority of the Commission and accepted as truthful but not justified by the facts.

 

 

  • TBMM Turkish Parliament does not grant the right of “military operation across borders” to the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF)

Turkish Parliament granted that right to the government. Therefore TAF could not engage in such an operation alone with the so-called capacity of the parliament. It has to be missioned by the government within the rules of engagement and under the political responsibility of the government and within its knowledge. The above statement alone could be considered as sufficient to prove TAF is eager to abuse its power and mandate.

 

 

  • The area and route where the massacre took place is not considered to be among the specific areas where PKK is highly active or utilized as a passage route by PKK.

 

The report by Chief Civil Auditors and the statements in local security forces’ inquiries proves against the statement in the commission report that “the area where the group was identified was utilized by terrorists frequently.”  The note provided by General Staff to the commission only talks about monitoring transcriptions of  the increased number of “radio approximations” and “radio activities” as compared to the previous years in the region. But when this information is revalued under the scrutiny of the facts, it becomes obvious that the intelligence on the increase of armed PKK existence and activity in the region is basically based on hearsay. In addition and more important is the fact that none of this hearsay was specific to the air strike events of trailing and final destruction on December 28th which started around 17:15 and ended around midnight of the same day.   Clearly General Staff had no specific intelligence on the identities and movements of the victims other than the Heron images. In fact the question by the commission to the General Staff was answered by stating that no “specific intelligence” were available on the massacred company.

 

 

Same issue was brought into attention in Civil Auditors’ report hence:

 

“…it has been determined that radio approximations do not justify a military operation unless enforced by other means of intelligence.”

 

In addition the statements of the local security forces as documented by Civil Auditors’ Report on Uludere region being relatively calm and “of no terrorist activity” add to the suspicion that General Staff’s claims are exaggerated to justify their reasoning that the “massacre was a result of desperation” on their part. Sirnak Police Intelligence Dept Chief Baris Colak states on the Civil Auditors‘ Report:

 

“According to our intelligence the region under scrutiny is not known to be an area of passage for terrorists. This area is known to be utilized by smugglers. ”

 

  • The claim that drone visuals are not capable of distinguishing between civilian and PKK activity is outright incorrect.

Experts trailed 34 men using drones for five hours and then annihilated them by air force attack. Both real time and recorded surveillance videos show singular objects and the movements of these objects in company providing sufficient evidence if the company is in fact a PKK squad or not. Professional soldiers whose main responsibility and training is to follow the above mentioned footage and to valuate results from those were cited in the General Staff statements as saying “the views showed a group of men and animals but could not be determined if they were civilian or terrorists.” These statements are far from being plausible and problematic in their own as an effort of cover-up presented as an excuse for the massacre.

 

i.                    First of all the company “under fire” did not appear on drone videos out of the blue, it could be observed that they arrived to the meadow where Putalma and Haftanin rivers merge in Iraq from north, namely Turkey. Although this intelligence does not alone prove the identity or the itinerary of the group, it needs excessive imagination to conclude they belong to PKK combat groups which does not have a base in Turkey.

 

ii.                  In addition even an uneducated eye can observe through the thermal visuals that the animals -as unveiled later, namely mules- were loaded on both sides equally with white -cold on a thermal camera- objects. It would be in line with the possible line of thought of military personnel to consider that the experts have not come across loads on mules that big to be considered as a weapon since there are no such weapon in inventory and ammunitions cannot be reflected on video as an integral object on the animals as depicted on video records. For that reason it can be concluded that General Staff do not reflect wholly their internal debates -for the reasons of national security- and hide certain information on their report to the commission concerning the video records of 8 different sources. To claim that questions risen in the minds of lay commission members as a resut of footage did not occur to the military experts is to undermine military professionals.

 

iii.                Furthermore it should be expected that the experts should have considered the fact that the company did not have a military function as a result of disorderly movements of the group and the inexistence of reconnaissance elements at their front or periphery. In reality the statement in General Staff’s note that “the group was not positively identified” should be read as a reflection of the disaccord among the experts.

 

iv.                It is clear from the statements of 23rd Border Gendarmerie Division personnel that several opinions arose during the evaluation of shelling of the border with the permission of 2nd Army to clear the ambiguity as to the identification of the group. According to the division commander Major General Ilhan Boluk after gunning of 5 flash bombs and 7 shells the constant movement of the group was considered to be the proof of the group being a PKK column, Border Gendarmerie Division Division Shooting Support Coordinator Major Mehmet Olcensoy in his statement to Civil Auditors states: “In my opinion the lack of reaction to the shelling by the group is a question mark. Because of this ambiguity we did not rejoice the destruction of terrorist elements after the event.”

 

v.                  Despite all the ambiguity, differences of opinion, demur and most importantly despite the lack of specific intelligence, taking action and engaging an air strike resulting in the annihilation of all individuals with the exception of 4 people who were able to take cover or saved by chance have no acceptable explanation under the current judiciary system.

 

The route and the area where 34 citizens were massacred were not included in closed military zones, in fact Iraqi sectors could not be included among closed military zones by Turkey. In fact in addition to the lack of warning by the military that all moving objects would be fired upon in the region, for many years being temporary village guards themselves, Roboski citizens were pushing commodities on this route without fear of their lives and believed they had an unwritten contract with the military. In short December 28-29 were ordinary days for local people.  They have not abstained from taking any precautions they were supposed to take and they were never attacked by the security forces during their smuggling activities.

 

But it is obvious that before and during both the drone operations codenamed “star” implemented by 23rd Border Gendarmerie Division Command and the air strikes obviously coordinated by the General Staff, no precautions were taken towards the security of people; no common sense was applied towards the possibilities of action in case the group did not belong to PKK; the principle of due diligence towards the suspects was ignored despite conflicting opinions among the experts since the beginning; the group was fired upon without any concrete evaluation on the potential danger presented by their existence and without any concern for the procedures; no warnings have been issued to the company or no action taken to force them to surender.

 

  • The group was deliberately struck  to kill

 

The statement added to the report during the meetings of the under-committee that “there was no intent” in massacre of 34 citizens is completely empty and against all common sense and the General Staff remarks. Turkish Air Forces aircraft aimed at the group, bombed four times within the hour killing 34 innocent citizens.

 

Even during and after the first party drone images prove that the attack was directed towards the civilians if not before, the attack was pursued until all people concerned were annihilated.

 

If the members of the group had military training during the approach of F-16s they had to disperse to minimize the target after they realize what was upon them. But on each of the four bombings it could be observed that the group consisting of mostly children and youngsters were trying to merge closer with each other and protect themselves. If the air strike lacked the intent to destruct, the observers in the command center should’t have stopped and reevaluate after the first round?

 

  • The motive behind the massacre: the obsession to eliminate Fehman Huseyin

 

The organizers of this air strike obviously had a motive. However they were handicapped by the obsession that one of the anonymous group that they would attack would be Fehman Huseyin, codenamed Dr. Bahoz Erdal, one of the military leaders of PKK, who they assumed to be a commander based in Northern Iraq. Roboski massacre was a result of an adventurous enterprise that attacked ambiguous human targets to gain an easy psychological-military achievement transgressing all military protocol, without a concern to cause a civilian massacre and ignoring all rules and regulations to protect civilians.

 

The aim of “Star” drone operation which initiated by 23rd Border Gendarmerie Division Commander Ilhan Boluk and halted by an order from higher brass previous to the air strikes was to undergo lurk-and-monitor and survey-and-spy operations due to the intelligence on a possibility of entrance of PKK groups under Fehman Huseyin command into the region.

 

 

If everything went according to the expectations of those “soldiers of fortune” Turkey and the world would not be talking about the Roboski massacre. Papers and TV stations would be filled with biased information and a totally different would be on screens. As per the minutes of military briefing held in Sirnak for the commission 23rd Border Gendarmerie Division Commander Ilhan Boluk stated clearly that the only political-military target of the army in the region was Fehman Huseyin. All the activity in the region was considered to be under his influence and he was seen as the sole responsible for the battle casualties. As a result his dismissal would serve as a “medal of honor” for the neo-security strategy which was dependent on brutally continuing the policy of destruction against the PKK disregarding all attempts towards peace and compromise in the Kurdish issue since August 2011. Within that “picture of victory” killing 34 Kurdish youth would be considered in a totally different way and the cry of the people of Roboski would be unheard under the massive bombardment of disinformation on December 29th and the “soldiers of fortune” would not have left with an unfathomable massacre in their hands.

 

3.         The purpose of the sub-committee report: To cover up the massacre.

If we have to summerize the majority report that has been approved in the sub-commission and would be transferred to the Human Rights Commission, we could say it is apologetical. According to that majority report one should not question why General Staff did not send the information required to the commission or the truth hereof. Because it is so.

 

The report in its entirety try to conform to the perspective that General Staff lay off; it talks about how Roboski people deserved what happened to them, it blames the “smugglers” or “smuggling” [1] abstaining from answering none of the questions above.

  • Questions left unanswered in sub-commission majority report

i.                    Which authority was behind the operation?
ii.                  Who evaluated the drone pictures and which agency was responsible for the final evaluation?
iii.                The source and location of the specific intelligence behind the operation?
iv.                In case a specific intelligence was absent which authority is responsible for “the evaluation that upon a movement was observed towards our border it became necessary to open fire.”?
v.                  Who gave the order to open fire?

 

A report that won’t answer these questions would not bring the responsible parties for the massacre of 34 Roboski residents in the first degree and fulfill its purpose. It can only secure the irresponsibility of the General Staff and the Prime Ministry by means of the signatures of the majority of the commission.

 

The sub-commission, instead of completing its mission by identifying the responsible parties based on obvious facts and even on confessions, denies its mission by excluding those facts. It also shows an incredible zeal tries to create evidence from within the existing drone footage for “two people arriving from the south and then returning” rumor, contorting the facts by doing so.

 

One third of the conclusions section of the report is exclusively dedicated to a hearsay by an unknown confitent who was supposedly arrested and released after his(her) deposition. According to this statement “among the deceased there are two PKK members who joined the group, one of them will visit his siblings in Roboski. Upon death of their siblings they have returned back to the south.”

 

More than one targets were hit by this “ingenious” statement:

  • A “secret witness” would be created albeit weak to support General Staff’s “PKK infiltration” thesis.
  • As long as one of the persons accused by the “secret witness” turned back to the south and his two brothers lost their lives no one would be hurt as a result of judiciary practice.
  • Furthermore Roboski would be marked as a village connected to PKK activity and could be indirectly punished for its resurgence.
  • Also it would be possible to further accuse people supporting the cause of Roboski as supporters of PKK in the future.

 

One has to pinpoint that the “secret witness” account attached to the report only after one and a half year later with the help of some security and judicial experts loses its effect in the light of the statement by 23rd Border Gendarmerie Division Commander stating that there were not an “A Class” (meaning reliable) intelligence. It is obvious that the majority of the commission couldn’t restrain from inserting this account “despite all odds” in the report which they had postponed for over a year to create excuses for the role General Staff played in the incident and to include the report derived from the drone footage in a way to claim the villagers who came to pick up their relatives’ dead bodies as “people who came from the south.”

 

4.            Human Rights Examining Commission should reject the sub-commission report


Despite the fact that sub-commission chose not to reflect the facts, Human Rights Examining Commission could correct the mistake by sub-commission majority.  They can reject the report. As I wrote previously, “sub-commission might not have succeeded in understanding the social psychology behind the current events. It might not have grasp the unique character of the current orientation, might have been acting according to the perception and concepts of “total destruction” strategy. However the  Human Rights Examining Commission by accepting Roboski was a crime against humanity and by handing over the responsible parties to the courts as a result of reasons depicted above, would convey the following message to the people of Roboski, to Kurds who share the same feelings with them in or outside Turkey and to the millions of people of Turkey who thrive for justice: ‘Excuse us! We apologize. Turkish Parliament begs your pardon. The crimes committed by the state against its people should be redeemed. Your children were the victims of military and psychological lust for success in a security operation. We will do everything in our power to bring those responsible to the court and be punished within the law.’

 

“People of Roboski would accept that apology or not, that’s their right. But by taking that route Turkish Parliament and its Human Rights Examining Commission would  take a historical step towards being the protector of the people of Roboski and people at large instead of being the protector of the state. Everyone should be sure that hauling the state over the coals in the Parliament by political means would be a crystal clear and solid sign by the highest chair in the country that “negotiation” process would sincerely continue towards a solution.”[2]

 

  • In whom and where the responsibility lies?
  • •The statement by the General staff dated December 29, 2011 as we mentioned above describes where the highest military responsibility lies depending on the documents and information at hand albeit risking towards ultra vires action:

 

“Cross border operations by Turkish Armed Forces are carried on based on the authority granted by the Turkish parliament on October 17th, 2007 and renewed every year for a one year period.”

 

 

That statement is a confession of responsibility for the process by the General Staff and needs no further explanation. It’s not possible for the responsibility to lay somewhere else logically, judicially or politically and hence Human Rights Examining Commission should concur that Chief of Staff should stand on trial as a result of his responsibility.

 

The Prime Minister states about the above mentioned situation as follows:

 

“The incident was handled according to the usual chain of command. The authority bestowed on the security forces were utilized within their sphere of combat and disposal. ”

 

However since it is not common sense to think General Staff could have taken a decision and implement it with such grave political consequences without conferring with the Prime Ministry, The Commission should concur that Prime Minister should be brought to court as well.

 

For open or implied defenses of the Prime Minister and Chief of Staff that they have transferred their authority and the executive decision to their juniors to be credible transparency is necessary. Prie Minister’s insults towards justice seekers, his overt or veiled accusations that Roboski victims could be “terrorists” and his defenses and statements in this respect are unacceptable. In any case the heads of administration are responsible in the first degree for the level of combat and civilian casualties. The only way out would be a transparent investigation leading to a fair trial, but the most important action should be first and foremost to apologize to the people.

 

By doing so Human Rights Examining Commission would not replace justice as contested by the sub-commission majorityi it would only fulfill its charter to notify the justice of the crimes and misdemeanors it witnesses and demonstrates that Turkish Parliament was not blind to the fact that 34 people, most of them children, died for nothing.

 

  • Human Rights Examining Commission by following a step in the right direction can transform itself to a Truth Commission

One of the sub-commissions of Human Rights Examining Commission, namely Commission for Evaluation of Human Right Violations Under Terror and Violence, in their report passed a few months ago, demanded forming Truth and Peace Commissions which played an important social role in resolving combat situations in other countries under the heading of “Commission forming for Truth Discovery.”

 

 

Human Rights Examining Commission can form a well designed new commission to replace the existing one to investigate Roboski massacre in length to serve the purpose of solving that massacre which should be considered as a crime against humanity and to push forward the quest for justice and building a peaceful future in a period when efforts were spent to move out of a period of warfare. It can form a basis to examine that deep trauma that pains the people at large and human rights violations in particular. It can form public opinion for a fair trial of the perpetrators.

 

If the Commission would take that chance to elevate Turkish Parliament into a peace forming role, it would have the opportunity to play an important role in the future of the society and will encourage the Kurdish people to join the solution process.

 

  • In order to stop aggression against

 

The only positive aspect of the majority report is to propose legalization of the border trade and opening a border post. However in this point in time the primary need for the people of Roboski is justice and ending a one and a half year old mourning. The urgent remedy does not entail economic reimbursements. The Commission could help preventing alike massacres only by taking the initiative for a solution and by working as a truth commission and bringing the perpetrators of the killing of 34 people into justice. Security is not the subject matter for the Human Rights Examining Commission but reserved for the organizations chartered to provide it.

 


[1] Sub commission report pp 41-46

[2] http://www.radikal.com.tr/Radikal.aspx?aType=RadikalDetayV3&ArticleID=1124653&CategoryID=42