The British parliament on Tuesday held a debate on Turkey’s alleged use of chemical weapons in Northern Iraq against Kurdish forces, with Labour MPs asking if the government would request an Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) investigation into the allegations.
MPs Kim Johnson and LLoyd Russell-Moyle spoke on behalf of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Kurdistan, Turkey and Syria, pointing to a Turkish court demanding permission to prosecute an opposition MP for terrorism over the matter.
Turkish main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) MP Sezgin Tanrıkulu risks losing his immunity after he submitted a written inquiry demanding information on the alleged chemical use.
The MPs also called on the parliament to revisit its designation of the PKK as a terrorist organisation, as did the Belgian Supreme Court.
Leo Docherty, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, said the Government was aware of reports accusing Turkish forces of having used white phosphorus in Northern Iraq, and was committed to upholding the chemical weapons convention.
“I myself met the director general of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons last month,” Docherty said. “We will keep these issues under review.”
Most recent allegations stem from a video released by the People’s Defence Forces (HPG), the military wing of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). The video released in mid-October shows two HPG guerrillas in convulsions and delirious, reportedly due to the gases they have been exposed to.
While no conclusive evidence has been made public, there is enough evidence to warrant an extensive investigation into the matter, Jan Van Aken from the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) told Medyanews, in an October interview. Turkey denies all accusations.