Protesters gathered on Friday in several cities in Turkey to demand an investigation of the Turkish Armed Forces’ chemical use allegations. Groups were met with police intervention and were stopped from reading out press statements, Mezopotamya Agency reported.
Under heavy police presence, activist groups called for the implementation of international conventions prohibiting the use of chemical weapons that Turkey is party to and said, “The solution is negotiation, not denial and destruction.”
In addition to Turkey’s pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), several NGOs participated in the demonstrations in Diyarbakır (Amed), Mardin (Mêrdîn), Şanlıurfa (Riha), Şırnak (Şirnex), Adana and Batman (Êlih).
The allegations against Turkey for using chemical weapons stem from the People’s Defence Forces (HPG), the military wing of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), who released a video in mid-October showing two Kurdish fighters having seizures and delirious, reportedly under the influence of prohibited chemicals.
The International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) discovered enough evidence to warrant further investigation into allegations that Turkey has been using chemical weapons in its military operations in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI).
Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said in December Turkey will not allow any outside body to carry out investigations into the matter.
Şebnem Korur Fincancı, the head of the Turkish Medical Association (TTB) was arrested on charges of terrorist propaganda in late October after she commented on an online television programme about the allegations which might constitute a violation of international law.