Sunday , 7 July 2024
Home News MEPs write to OPCW about need for independent investigation into Turkish use of chemical weapons
News

MEPs write to OPCW about need for independent investigation into Turkish use of chemical weapons

A group of Members of the European Parliament wrote to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to express their concern “at the credible allegations of the use of chemical weapons by Turkey in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, and at the lack of any independent investigation. The Chemical Weapons Convention was an achievement of great importance, especially since, as we read on your website, 98% of the globe – all but four countries – is covered by its protection. However, the Kurdish experience suggests that even within this 98%, coverage is not universal. Protection depends on having a state that will speak up on your behalf. The Kurds, notably, have no state of their own to make such a request.”

The letter underlined that “the need for a request from a state seems to us to undermine the fundamental spirit of the Convention, denying its all-important universality, and restricting its ability to create the chemical weapon-free world that it was established to achieve.

With respect to the particular situation in Northern Iraq, where the Turkish army is fighting the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), we note that the Turkish government has even admitted to the military use of tear-gas, which, is, of course, banned by the Convention.1 There are alarming reports by journalists who have spoken with local civilians who claim to have suffered symptoms associated with chemical attacks after Turkish bombing. 2 There are videos that appear to show Turkish soldiers putting hoses into the tunnels where the PKK fighters are sheltering, and other videos showing the death throes of two of the Kurdish guerrillas.”

The letter continued: ”

These last videos convinced Prof Şebnem Korur Fincancı, the head of the Turkish Medical Association, of the need for a proper independent investigation; but when she raised this, she was put in prison, only reinforcing fears that Turkey had something to hide. There has also been circumstantial evidence in the form of chemical containers and a gas mask cannister.5 Combined, the evidence was sufficient for International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) also to call for an independent investigation.6 They tried to carry out an investigative mission themselves, but when they wanted to go to the immediate area and meet with affected civilians, but they were not given permission to go there .

We presume that the evidence we have outlined above is very familiar to you – so you must already be aware of the urgent need for an independent investigation that can insist on going to where it is needed. Of course, we cannot assume the result of such an investigation, but if it does, indeed, show that Turkey has been using chemical weapons, this would be an essential first step in getting rid of them.

As elected European representatives, we consider it a duty to highlight this worrying situation and to do all in our power to ensure that it is properly investigated. Not to act in these circumstances could be tantamount to complicity with a war crime.”

The letter is signed by:

ALFONSI Francois (Greens/EFA);

SCHIEDER Andreas (S&D);

VILLUMSEN Nikolaj (THE LEFT);

ARENA Maria (S&D);

AUKEN Margrete (Greens/EFA);

BITEAU Benoit (Greens/EFA);

BJÖRK Malin (THE LEFT);

BOURGEOIS Geert (ECR);

CAREME Damien (Greens/EFA);

CASTALDO Fabio Massimo (NI);

CHAIBI Leila (THE LEFT);

COMIN I OLIVERES Antoni (NI);

CORMAND David (Greens/EFA);

CORRAO Ignazio (Greens/EFA);

D’AMATO Rosa (Greens/EFA);

DELBOS- CORFIELD Gwendoline (Greens/EFA);

DELLI Karima (Greens/EFA);

DEMIREL Oezlem (THE LEFT);

FRAGKOS Emmanouil (ECR);

GREGOROVÁ Markéta (Greens/EFA);

GRUFFAT Claude (Greens/EFA);

GUSMÃO José (THE LEFT);

HEIDE Hannes (S&D);

JADOT Yannick (Greens/EFA);

KANKO Assita (ECR);

LARROUTUROU Pierre (S&D);

MACMANUS Chris (THE LEFT);

MATIAS Marisa (THE LEFT);

MELCHIOR Karen (Renew);

MIRANDA Ana (Greens/EFA);

PAPADAKIS Demetris (S&D);

PEDICINI Piernicola (Greens/EFA);

PETER-HANSEN Kira Marie (Greens/EFA);

PISAPIA Giuliano (S&D);

PONSATI Clara (NI);

PUIGDEMONT Carles (NI);

RIBA I GINER Diana (Greens/EFA);

RIVASI Michèle (Greens/EFA);

RODRÍGUEZ PALOP Eugenia (THE LEFT);

ROOSE Caroline (Greens/EFA);

SANTOS Isabel (S&D);

SATOURI Mounir (Greens/EFA);

SIDL Guenther (S&D);

SINČIĆ Ivan Vilibor (NI);

SMERIGLIO Massimiliano (S&D);

SOLE Jordi (Greens/EFA);

TOUSSAINT Marie (Greens/EFA);

URBAN CRESPO Miguel (THE LEFT);

VILLANUEVA RUIZ Idoia (THE LEFT);

ŽDANOKA Tatjana (NI)

 

Source: ANF

Related Articles

News

Protest in front of OPCW leaves one year behind

Xosnav Ata, who lost his nieces in the chemical attacks of the...

News

Images of tactical nuclear bomb attack published

Images of the Turkish state’s attack on the guerrilla positions in Girê...

News

Protest by Xosnav Ata in front of OPCW reaches day 288

Defend Kurdistan member Lida Weerts and a delegation from Bashur visited Xosnav...

News

Chris MacManus MEP meets with Xosnav Ata at European Parliament

Xosnav Ata brought the chemical weapons attacks of Turkey to the agenda...