No light has been shed on Roboski massacre due to decisions made by MGK members, opposition MP says

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A lawmaker from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has said the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has failed to disclose the perpetrators of the 2011 Roboski massacre because the incident was the result of a decision made by Turkey’s National Security Council (MGK).

On Dec. 28, 2011, 34 male Kurdish civilians, most of them teenagers, were killed when Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) jets bombed them after receiving intelligence on terrorists from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the Uludere district of Şırnak province near the Turkish–Iraqi border, in an incident commonly known as the Roboski massacre.

Referring to the incident during budget talks in parliament on Thursday, the CHP’s Ankara MP Levent Gök said President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s AKP has failed to shed light on the issue for nine years because the decision to bomb the civilians was made by the MGK based on intelligence that a senior PKK commander might be among them.

“The decision was critical because it was obvious that the [34] people monitored by the TSK [due to the terrorist-related intelligence] were smugglers. But was it OK to bomb them if PKK commander Fehman Hüseyin was among them? Yes, it was, because people would excuse them for doing it [as long as they caught Hüseyin]. That was the critical decision that claimed the lives of our 34 citizens.”

According to Gök the decision involved the then-chief of intelligence and current Chief of General Staff Gen. Yaşar Güler, then-deputy chief of General Staff and current Defense Minister Hulusi Akar and then-Chief of General Staff Gen. Necdet Özel, among others.

Reminding lawmakers that then-Prime Minister Erdoğan promised to bring the incident to light and punish the perpetrators, Gök emphasized that the Roboski massacre has intentionally been covered up by the president and his AKP government.

“What do you think the families of the Uludere victims expect from 2021 budget? After nine years, can we ease the sorrow of those mothers who lost their children in Uludere, even if we prepare the best annual budget here? Preparing a good budget will not get you any [positive] results in a country where there’s no justice,” the MP further said.

Three months after the incident, Turkey’s Prime Ministry offered TL 123,000 ($16,000) in compensation to families of the victims, who refused to accept it.

“The families have been seeking justice for years. How will you serve justice in this situation? What does your conscience tell you to do? Are you ready to share with the public what you know about the military operation in order to shed light on the incident?” Gök also asked Akar in November when he presented his ministry’s budget to parliament.

Akar gave no response to the opposition lawmaker’s questions regarding the 2011 killings.

“No evidence that the bombing of civilians occurred intentionally can be found,” the investigation committee established by parliament following the incident said in a report after 15 months of work.

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