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Erdoğan says Turkish army has never used chemical weapons

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President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Turkey’s armed forces have never used chemical weapons and that legal action would be taken against people who make such allegations, Reuters reported on Friday, citing NTV.

Media close to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) published videos this week which it said showed chemical weapons being used by the Turkish army against the PKK in northern Iraq.

“To this day, our armed forces have never used chemical weapons,” NTV quoted Erdoğan as telling reporters on his plane returning from a trip to Azerbaijan.

The defense ministry and top officials on Thursday also denied the armed forces had used chemical weapons in their operations against militants of the PKK, recognized as a terrorist organization by Turkey and much of the international community.

Turkish prosecutors on Thursday opened an investigation into Şebnem Korur Fincancı, the head of the Turkish Medical Association, after she said on television that the footage indicated the use of toxic gases and called for an independent investigation.

The state-owned Anadolu news agency said Financı was accused of “disseminating terrorist propaganda” and “denigrating the Turkish nation, the Republic of Turkey and its institutions.”

An international medical federation published a report this month seeking an independent investigation of possible violations of the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention by the Turkish military.

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