Turkey cannot bury allegations of the Turkish military’s use of chemical weapons in northern Iraq merely on the basis of a statement made by the Defence Minister, Hişyar Özsoy, an MP from the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), said on Sunday.
The use of chemical weapons in Turkey’s attacks against Kurdish fighters in Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan region has been discussed for months, Özsoy told the ANF news agency, mentioning civilians hospitalised due to the effects of chemicals used.
“Two different delegations went to the region to investigate the conditions of civilians exposed to chemical substances. But unfortunately, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) did not allow the delegations to visit those places,” the MP said.
Özsoy said that shocking pieces of footage showing the effects of chemical weapons could not be hushed up by Ankara simply by releasing a statement. The MP was referring to the Turkish Defence Ministry’s statement on Thursday which said that allegations of the use of chemical weapons were completely baseless and untrue.
Only an independent body that goes into the region and investigates the allegations can put an end to the discussions, Özsoy said.
“If they have nothing to worry about, they should be the ones leading the way for an independent delegation’s visit to the region,” the MP said of the Turkish government.
HDP co-chair Mithat Sancar made similar comments on Saturday while speaking at a meeting of HDP provincial co-chairs.
“There are reports and important allegations. Such allegations cannot be put off by superficial statements and threats,” Sancar said. “They must be analysed by independent delegations and the truth should be made public,” he added.