Kurdish doctors and health workers launched a petition calling on international institutions to investigate Turkey’s alleged chemical attacks against Kurdish forces in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) and to take any necessary further steps.
Doctors from the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) travelled to KRI and published a report summarising evidence of Turkey’s chemical weapon use against Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) guerrillas last week, calling for an urgent independent investigation.
On 18 October, the People’s Defence Forces (HPG) released footage showing a group of Turkish soldiers with a device that can allegedly deliver an explosive chemical device and guerrilla fighters suffering from the alleged chemical attacks.
HPG announced that 17 were killed in Turkey’s chemical weapons attacks after the footage’s release.
Selahattin Demirtaş, the former co-chair of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), also addressed the allegations and called on independent international authorities to conduct an investigation in the region, as Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) MP Sezgin Tanrıkulu announced he would submit a parliamentary question on the subject.
In a broadcast on Wednesday, Turkish Medical Association (TTB) chair and forensic specialist Professor Şebnem Korur Fincancı said that she went over the footage and had concluded that toxic chemical gas which directly affects the nervous system was used.
Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) denied the allegation, and authorities launched a lightning-fast investigation against the forensic specialist over her comments on Turkey’s alleged chemical attacks against Kurdish forces.
The use of chemical weapons is prohibited under the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) of 1993 since they are classified as mass destruction weapons. Turkey is among the signatories of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons.