The Turkish military on Sunday used water, tear gas and rubber bullets to stop people protesting against Turkey’s alleged use of chemical weapons in northern Iraq, Mezopotamya News reported.
The protestors gathered in the Silopi district of the southeastern Şırnak province to march towards the Habur border crossing between Turkey and Iraq.
The protestors, including Kurdish MPs and other politicians, gathered to participate in the march supported by several Kurdish institutions and civil society organisations, including the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP).
The Turkish military used barricades to prevent the march and intervened with water, tear gas and rubber bullets when protestors resisted.
But the protestors persisted and regrouped in the streets of Silopi to resume the march, while one of the rubber bullets used by the Turkish military hit HDP MP Nuran İmir, Mezopotamya said.
Soldiers also let off firearms outside the HDP’s district headquarters and took several people into custody, according to Mezopotamya.
Meanwhile, people who had gathered for a wedding party in the district received a share of the soldiers’ brutality, as they were also teargassed.
The Turkish government have repeatedly denied allegations that the Turkish military is using chemical weapons in its attacks against Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) fighters in north Iraq.
Activists have been calling on international institutions to launch investigations into the allegations since the Kurdish People’s Defence Forces (HPG) shared footage last month showing a group of Turkish soldiers at the mouth of a cave with a device which was allegedly being used to deliver chemical weapons.
The International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War last month said in a report that it had found indirect evidence of possible violations during a two-expert mission’s field trip to northern Iraq in September.
In the meantime, Turkey also arrested Dr. Şebnem Korur Fincancı, a prominent human rights activist and the chairperson of the Turkish Medical Association, for saying that the allegations of use of chemical weapons by the Turkish army against the PKK in Iraqi Kurdistan should be investigated.