Özsoy: Chemical weapons allegations must be investigated

The recordings of the use of chemical weapons in the Turkish attacks on the HPG guerrilla in southern Kurdistan (Northern Iraq) triggered violent reactions and were also discussed in parliament in Ankara. While Defense Minister Hulusi Akar denied the attack on the grounds that the Turkish armed forces had no chemical weapons, an investigation was launched against the head of the Turkish Medical Association (TTB), Şebnem Korur Fincancı. After viewing the film material, the renowned forensic pathologist and winner of the Hessian Peace Prize 2018 explained that the symptoms shown indicated the use of nerve agents and that the allegation had to be investigated.

HDP MP Hişyar Özsoy, co-speaker of the party’s Foreign Affairs Committee, spoke to ANF about the issue. He said the matter could only be resolved after an independent delegation investigated the incident.


Özsoy pointed out that the discussion about the use of chemical weapons in Iraq’s Kurdistan Region (KRI) is not new. The region has been at war for six to seven months and civilians from nearby villages have been hospitalized after being exposed to chemical gases. Özsoy said that so far two delegations have traveled to the region to investigate but are not allowed to do so: “Two different delegations have traveled to the region to investigate the situation of people who have reportedly been exposed to chemicals. But unfortunately the Kurdish region government denied the delegations access to the areas. It must be pointed out that this government has itself been affected by chemical weapons and witnessed the Halabja massacre. Your behavior is of course unacceptable.”

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The HDP MP referred to the “shocking and inhumane images” of dying guerrilla fighters and explained that there were serious allegations that the defense minister’s words could not dismiss. Özsoy stressed that the only way to prevent discussions on this issue is for an independent delegation to travel to the scene of the crime and conduct an investigation. If the government has no reservations about its own statements, then it should clear the way for an independent delegation, he added.


Regarding the hate speech against Şebnem Korur Fincancı, Özsoy stated that as a forensic scientist, she is an expert and a doctor who fully adheres to her professional ethics. Özsoy noted that a witch hunt was launched against Fincancı just because she said the incident should be investigated: “Just because she interpreted the footage from a professional point of view and said that the matter should be investigated, everyone, starting with President Erdoğan, attacked and Selahattin Demirtaş, who made a statement on Twitter on the matter.”

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Özsoy explained that the opposition that should have shown up at such moments displayed their usual classic statist status quo attitude while they should have denounced these grave allegations. Referring to the Dersim massacre in 1937/1938, Özsoy said: “Such a procedure cannot exist and therefore did not take place. That’s what the state’s official records say, but while that’s the case, voices other than CHP MP Sezgin Tanrıkulu, who tabled a parliamentary question on the matter, can argue that something like this cannot happen, Şebnem Korur Fincancı said, a International independent delegation, even an international independent delegation with experts from Turkey, must go there and investigate the matter on the ground. Furthermore, all words and discussions are aimed at closing this matter and are nothing more than demagoguery.”


Özsoy recalled that in the past, when the state lost the will to resolve the Kurdish issue, it resorted to all sorts of violent methods. Defense Minister Akar’s statement that “there is neither torture nor punishment in our culture” is not convincing, said the HDP MP: “Weren’t Kurdish villages burned down? Aren’t people killed on the streets? Even corpses were killed.” tortured, let alone the living. There are numerous archives on this subject from the 1990s. Now Hulusi Akar speaks up and says that this and that cannot happen. But this people has a memory. Is it according to the official reports or according to his own memory? We saw with our own eyes how people were tortured in the middle of their village. It is obvious that when the state loses the will to solve the Kurdish question, it resorts to all kinds of violence. When you block the way for politics, you pave the way for the means of violence. It’s as simple as 2 + 2 = 4. So of course we have no expectations or hopes of this government. If you really want peace and tranquility in Turkey, you have to solve the Kurdish question, the conflict is already over n go on like this for 100 years, and if it goes on like this, it will go on like this for another 100 years. The people will be the losers. And those in power will find a way to stay in power by using such issues.”

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In conclusion, Hişyar Özsoy noted that the HDP will continue to follow the issue and has launched a number of initiatives to ensure the use of chemical weapons is investigated.


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