Kommentar

Det er sterke indikasjoner på at den tyrkiske hæren bruker kjemiske våpen mot antatte kurdiske opprørere. Bilder av åtte PKK-medlemmer som ble drept i september 2009, har dødd av omfattende etseskader. Tyske eksperter som har sett på bildene mener mistanken er sterk. Både politikere og menneskerettsarbeidere krever at Tyrkia forklarer seg.

German experts have confirmed the authenticity of photographs that purport to show PKK fighters killed by chemical weapons. The evidence puts increasing pressure on the Turkish government, which has long been suspected of using such weapons against Kurdish rebels. German politicians are demanding an investigation.

It would be difficult to exceed the horror shown in the photos, which feature burned, maimed and scorched body parts. The victims are scarcely even recognizable as human beings. Turkish-Kurdish human rights activists believe the people in the photos are eight members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) underground movement, who are thought to have been killed in September 2009.

In March, the activists gave the photos to a German human rights delegation comprised of Turkey experts, journalists and politicians from the far-left Left Party, as SPIEGEL reported at the end of July. Now Hans Baumann, a German expert on photo forgeries has confirmed the authenticity of the photos, and a forensics report released by the Hamburg University Hospital has backed the initial suspicion, saying that it is highly probable that the eight Kurds died «due to the use of chemical substances.»

Kurdernes sak har lenge vært en sak for tysk venstreside, og flere fra die Linke og De grønne, krever granskning og press mot Tyrkia.

Men tyrkiske myndigheter avviser enten påstandene blankt, eller nekter å si noe.

Turkey has been suspected of using chemical weapons for years, points out Gisela Penteker, a Turkey expert with the international medical organization International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War. «Local people have said that again and again,» she explained. Finding proof is difficult, however, she said, because bodies were often released so late that it was hardly possible to carry out a thorough autopsy.

‘PKK Propaganda’

In Turkey, human rights advocates have long demanded an investigation. The army, however, has refused to comment on the issue. Similarly, the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been stubbornly silent or tried to portray the accusations of war crimes as «PKK propaganda.»

«The prime minister is not interested in human rights violations,» says Akin Birdal, a member of the Turkish parliament whose pro-Kurdish BDP opposition party has repeatedly questioned in parliament if Erdogan’s war in the southeast of the country is really being conducted legally. In Birdal’s view, the only thing that matters to Erdogan is that the army eradicates the PKK problem once and for all «by any means necessary.»

Die Tageszeitung sier avisen har fått tak i nye bilder av seks drepte kurdere. Det er trolig bare et tidsspørsmål før bildene blir publisert.

For Tyrkia vil kjemisk krigføring være en politisk belastning. Tyrkias sterke fordømmelse av Israel for krigføringen i Gaza, og bordingen av Mavi Marmara, vil fremstå som rent hykleri. Statsminister Recep Tayyip Erdogan sa Israel ikke lenger var en sivilisert stat.

Turkey Accused of Using Chemical Weapons against PKK

By Daniel Steinvorth and Yassin Musharbash