A bar association in the Turkish capital of Ankara has filed criminal complaints against Israeli state officials, accusing them of committing war crimes and genocide in their ongoing strikes on the Palestinian enclave of Gaza.
Lawyers from the 2nd Ankara Bar Association, known to be close to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), filed the complaints at the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office on Friday.
— Ankara 2 Nolu Barosu (@ankara2barosu) October 20, 2023
The lawyers said Article 13 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK) allows for the prosecution of the perpetrators of war crimes and genocide regardless of the fact that they are foreign nationals and do not live in Turkey.
Prosecutors are obliged to obtain permission from the Justice Ministry to launch such an investigation.
Although Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is a strong supporter of the Palestinian cause and condemns Israel for the civilian deaths in Gaza in its ongoing strikes, it is unlikely that the ministry will give permission for such an investigation at a time when relations with Israel are on a course of normalization.
Israel began pounding Gaza after Hamas militants carried out an unprecedented surprise attack in Israel on Oct. 7 that claimed more than 1,400 lives.
Israeli’s retaliatory strikes have taken the lives of at least 4,000 civilians in Gaza so far, according to Hamas.
In January 2022, 19 people from China’s Uyghur Muslim ethnic group filed a criminal complaint with a Turkish prosecutor against Chinese officials, accusing them of committing genocide, torture, rape and crimes against humanity.
The Justice Ministry has not yet issued permission for an investigation into the Chinese state officials.