Former soldier Yannis Vasilis Yaylalı discussed the Turkish army’s recent military operation and drew comparisons with the 2011 Roboskî airstrikes on Kurdish civilians. ”As with the Roboskî massacre, the prisoners were killed”, he said.
Turkey launched a military operation against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) camps in northern Iraq’s Gara (Garê) region on 10 February.
A statement on the People’s Defence Forces (HPG) Press Centre said the Turkish army “targeted the camp of prisoners of war”, and some prisoners it was holding, including Turkish intelligence, police and military personnel, had died during the three day battle.
Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar announced that the military operation had come to an end following the deaths of 13 captured Turkish personnel.
Yannis Vasilis Yaylalı was found injured in Hakkari’s Şemdinli district by Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) guerrillas and, after returning to Turkey, he was arrested on charges of “making propaganda for the organisation”. Yaylalı told the Fırat News Agency (ANF) that the recent attack recalled the massacre in Roboski. “This team also carried out the massacre in Roboskî”, he said. “As with the Roboskî massacre, the prisoners were killed”.
Yaylalı added: “The government wants to take back its declining votes with these massacres and provocations. I already know how ruthless they are, but if the PKK does not allow a cover up of this massacre, it will be understood by the national and international public.
”The PKK should make an urgent call to the international community”, Yaylalı said. “If this massacre can be clarified, then those who ruthlessly planned and put it into action can be tried in international criminal courts”, he said.
‘The state will want to cover up its actions’
Yaylalı called for non-governmental organisations to stand with the families. “[T]he struggle for justice must be carried out together against this massacre by the state”, Yaylalı said. “Now, as in the Roboskî massacre, the state will want to cover up its actions”. Yaylalı added: “During the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government, such executions have almost become normal. If this normalisation is not allowed, such massacres will end. We must fight together to prevent this second Roboskî case from being covered up”.