The German government has said it did not have any other information about the Turkish army’s alleged use of tear gas against Kurdish fighters bar one incident that involved the use of the gas, adding that as a signatory of the Chemical Weapons Convention, Turkey is subject to the monitoring of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)
“The German government is aware of the media reports” said Katja Keul, the Minister of State at the German Federal Foreign Office, in her 19 October answer to German lawmaker Andrej Hunko from the left-wing Die Linke, who asked what information the German government had on Turkey’s use of chemical weapons in northern Iraq.
Keul also underlined information on a report by the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) published on 12 October, that referred to Turkey’s use of tear gas and references to improvised chemical agents such as chlorine gas. “This is an outright violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention and should be pursued legally by the international community,” the report said, while citing a speech made by the Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar in the Turkish Parliament last year.
Keul recalled that Turkey was part of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (CWC) and had previously declared that it had no stockpiles of chemical weapons.
“In order to ensure compliance with the agreement, Turkey, as a State Party, is subject to the monitoring mechanisms of the OPCW,” Keul said.
Meanwhile, Gökay Akbulut, a member of the German Bundestag from the Left Party, sent a letter to Thomas Schieb, Permanent Representative of Germany to the OPCW, about Turkey’s alleged use of chemical weapons.
“I have received several videos, photos, and reports suggesting the use of chemical weapons by Turkish armed forces,” Akbulut said in her letter, particularly referring to a video that was shared by Kurdish fighters this week and sparked a heated debate on Turkey’s possible war crimes.
Akbulut said the existing evidence on several incidents called for an urgent investigation by the OPCW.