Ernst-Ludwig Iskenius from the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), in an interview with Medya Haber on Thursday, stated that allegations of Turkey’s use of ammonium nitrate as a chemical weapon required the intervention, cooperation and networking of concerned NGOs and individuals.
Earlier, there had been a report which included photos of an explosive device filled with ammonium nitrate, allegedly dropped from a Turkish helicopter on 19 May in the Zap region in Iraqi Kurdistan during clashes between Turkish forces and the fighters of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Ernst-Ludwig Iskenius pointed out the difficulty of initiating an inquiry regarding allegations against Turkey, underlining that Turkey was a part of the Western alliance.
“Turkey is a part of NATO. And would a NATO member like to see another member as a war criminal?,” he asked. “In my opinion, this is the real reason that governments, states, especially in the West, do not talk about these war crimes. International institutions are most likely dependent on their own governments and they get their money from these governments, so they sometimes also act like their governments and states.”
Iskenius then explained the difficulty of carrying out investigations on the use of ammonium nitrate in chemical weapons: “Ammonium nitrate is widely used as fertilizers. And it can be used in weapons at the same time. It is therefore difficult to investigate and research how it’s used.
“Ammonium nitrate is not forbidden. Only its use in weapons is forbidden. This is the reason why it is difficult to research into this. But if we come together in different countries, perhaps we have a chance to demand wider investigations. We have to make more network connections at the international level for this issue.”
In another interview by Medya News, Dr Gisela Penteker of the IPPNW told Mark Campbell in a podcast that there were signs that Turkey is using chemical weapons against the Kurds in northern Iraq and that the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) should investigate whether these allegations are true or not.