By Meral Çiçek
“In the last 5 months, or about 150 days, Turkey has carried out nearly 100 chemical weapons attacks on areas such as Metina, Avashîn and Zap. However, there are no sanctions against Turkey. Not only are there no sanctions, the issue is neither on the agenda nor is there any scrutiny about it.” writes Meral Çiçek for Yeni Özgür Politika
Since May, HPG has officially announced the use of chemical weapons by the fascist Turkish state in operations against Metina, Avashîn and Zap.
First, seven guerrillas were killed with chemical weapons after 10 days of uninterrupted resistance in Mam Reşo. Then, on May 8, five guerrillas were martyred in the Aris Faris area as a result of chemical weapons attacks targeting war tunnels. In Girê Sor, 3 guerrillas were killed by chemical weapons on 7 July, 1-26 August and 2-3 September.
According to HPG, [People’s Defence Forces] Turkey has carried out nearly 100 chemical weapons attacks in only 5 months, approximately about 150 days.
The Geneva Protocol, signed in 1925, prohibited the use of chemical gases during armed conflicts. The Turkish State adopted the Geneva Protocol in 1929. Turkey also joined the Chemical Weapons Convention in 1997, which was first signed in Paris in 1993.
However, there are no sanctions against Turkey. Not only are there no sanctions, even the issue is neither on the agenda nor is there any scrutiny about it.
The same ones who invaded Iraq in 2003 for possessing alleged chemical weapons of mass destruction or has been trying to overthrow the Syrian regime for a decade for the same reason are quiet when it comes to Turkey.
And they don’t only stay silent, it gets worse.
Among the weapons Britain has sold to Turkey over the past 20 years is military equipment containing white phosphorus. NATO states have a role to play in the war crimes committed by Turkey, which has denied possessing chemical weapons for years because it is a party to the Geneva Protocol.
When the findings revealing the massacre of 8 guerrillas with chemical weapons in Çelê in September 2009 were presented to the German government in 2010, Berlin said that “In our opinion it is unlikely that Turkey has chemical weapons, but if you insist, you can apply to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).” By then, the head of the OPCW had changed. The new president was Ahmet Üzümcü, a Turkish diplomat who previously served as the Turkish representative to the UN in Geneva.
Last year, the OPCW refused to launch an investigation about the use of chemical weapons during the attacks on Serêkaniyê. It turns out that Turkey donated funds to the organisation shortly before.
That’s the attitude of the Western powers.
In order to protect their dirty interests, they define Kurdish freedom fighters as ‘terrorists’ and by using that word they are paving the way for the violation of all rights and laws. As if you are a terrorist you have no human rights, especially the right to live. In fact, they believe a strong struggle needs to be carried out with this narrative of ‘terrorist’.
The administration of Kurdistan Region Iraq (KRI) is also concerned about covering up the incident by remaining silent and also hiding the damage suffered by the civilian population. We all know KRI administration from its attitude in the Halabja massacre.
That’s what the attitude of the KRI in the Hirûrê village case shows us today. Six bombs were dropped on the afternoon of September near the village of Hirûrê in the Berwarî Bala region.
When dark smoke rose from one of the bombs, Mam Abdullah, 76, who had trained in chemical weapons while working as a pêshmerge under Saddam, rushed inside his home with his family. However, they were still affected from the gas and taken to hospital. Mam Abdullah’s wife is still in hospital today. The authorities are warning the family not to consume vegetables in their gardens, but they refrain from providing any information and carrying out the necessary investigations about it. So far, no samples have been taken from the soil in the area, nor any medical tests have been carried out.
Obviously, neither KRI nor the international authorities will raise the issue of the Turkish state’s use of chemical weapons. Therefore, we need to quickly expose these war crimes of TC through social initiatives, we need to create public awareness about it and force war crimes charges against the fascist regime to be prosecuted.