NEW DOCUMENTATION: Turkey Accused of Using Chemical Weapons against PKK


27.8.2010 – The dirty war, which has been carried out against the Kurdish people for the last thirty years, has disregarded every humanitarian and legal value. It now appears with a different dimension and is come to the agenda of the international community.

It had once again emerged that the Turkish army, which both has the advantage in numbers and technical capacity against Kurdish guerrillas, has been using chemical weapons.

It is obvious that this is not new information and situation for the Kurdish people and the public. Kurdish politicians, human rights activists and families of the guerrillas who lost their lives in clashes, brought up the use of chemical weapons during the war on manyoccasions. But, their cries have been heard from neither the Turkish public opinion nor the world public opinion.

Another dimension of the war carried out against Kurdish people is the state monopoly on the media. In consequence, all claims, observations and opinion related to the use of chemical weapons have been ignored by the Turkish press. Legal spectators have remained silent and government officials rejected the use of chemical weapons both inside and outside the country. They covered up the crimes that they carried out against Kurdish people and the humanity.

Today, the documents, regarding the use of banned chemical weapons by Turkish state, have been clearly revealed by the analysis and opinions of the experts. In addition to the file; you can find the related information within the attached documents. We did not add the photos on the grounds that they are somewhat disturbing. However; if we are asked, we are able to send them to individuals and institutions.
We are aware that these documents do not meet all of the truth. However; it does not seem possible to investigate deeper due to the terrible conditions of the Kurdish people and get more information without international support.

The Kurdish people want peace and with the recent decision of a unilateral cease-fire; the Kurdish people have expressed this once again. One of the ways that results with peace is to reveal the severe human rights violations and war crimes that people have suffered and to face up to the past and today.

To investigate the use of the chemical weapons, which is banned by International Conventions, against Kurdish guerrillas; to research all the incidents more closely with technical facilities will reveal the issue in every aspect. This will also put the international community in a deterrent position against Turkish state‟s use of chemical weapons.

We demand you not to remain silent against these crimes against humanity carried out against our people and children!
We demand you to show your reaction against this issue and to mobilize (OPCW) and any other related individuals and institutions.
As an active attempt, we ask you for an urgent demand to organize an international observer delegation, which consists of experts on the issue, to go to the areas where the incidents took place in Turkey and to investigate the incidents, which are recorded by human rights organizations and lawyers in Turkey.

Yours sincerely,

 Der Spiegel: Turkish army used chemical weapons against Kurdish guerrillas
 Shocking Images of Dead Kurdish Fighters
Turkey Accused of Using Chemical Weapons against PKK
 Put a Stop to the Turkish Army’s Crimes Against Humanity
 Murat Karayilan: Chemical weapons in use for 16 years
 Announcement of HPG
 The Sunshine Project
A Survey of Biological and Biochemical Weapons Related Research Activities in Turkey
 Documentation in German

Der Spiegel: Turkish army used chemical weapons against Kurdish guerrillas

ANF 13.08.2010

Shocking images of dead Kurdish fighters” whose bodies have been “burned, maimed and scorched” by the Turkish Army “are scarcely recognizable as human beings” reported German Der Spiegel.

German press reported that Turkish army used chemical weapons against the Kurdish guerrillas of HPG in the ongoing clashes in Kurdistan. While German human rights defenders and politicians called for an international investigation, Hamburg University documented the chemicals used by the Turkish Army.

German newspapers and magazines like “Der Spiegel”, “Die Welt” and “Die Tageszeitung“ (TAZ) while have been covering the clashes getting harder sine 1 June also drew attention on the chemical weapons used against Kurdish guerrillas and the brutality over their dead bodies chopped by the Turkish soldiers.

German Der Spiegel also reported that pictures of dead bodies of Kurdish guerrillas given to a human rights delegations in March during their visit to Kurdistan are showing that chemicals used against the Kurdish fighters. “Hans Baumann, a German expert on photo forgeries has confirmed the authenticity of the photos, and a forensics report released by the Hamburg University Hospital has backed the initial suspicion, saying that it is highly probable that the eight Kurds died „due to the use of chemical substances‟.” wrote Der Spiegel.

While German politicians and human rights experts are demanding an thorough investigation regarding the incidents Claudia Roth, the co-chair of Germany’s Green Party said there have been repeated „mysterious incidents of this type‟ and Turkey needs to make an explanation regarding pictures and issue an official statement. “It is impossible to understand why an autopsy of the PKK fighters was ordered but the results kept under seal.” added Roth.

Ruprecht Polenz, a German MP of Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the chairman of the Parliamentary Foreign Relations Committee also said an “international investigation would be the best approach”.

Gisela Penteker, an expert on Turkey with the international medical organization International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) said because the bodies were released so late it was hardly possible to carry out a thorough autopsy. She also pointed out the lack of diplomatic pressure on Turkey.

Der Spiegel further reported that the investigation demanded by national human rights organisations have been constantly ignored and manipulated by the Turkish officials. “The government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been stubbornly silent or tried to portray the accusations of war crimes as „PKK propaganda‟.” added the magazine.

Speaking to TAZ Uta Zapf of SPD said it is a clear violation of the international law.

The Junge Welt newspaper also reported that the bodies belonged to six Kurdish guerrillas including two females who were found dead in a cave in Cukurca district of Hakkari in September 2009.

Shocking Images of Dead Kurdish Fighters

Turkey Accused of Using Chemical Weapons against PKK

Spiegel Online International, 12. 08. 2010
By Daniel Steinvorth and Yassin Musharbash

Turkish soldiers on patrol in a Kurdish area of southeastern Turkey: Did the Turkish military use chemical weapons against the PKK?
German experts have confirmed the authenticity of photographs that purport to show PKK fighters killed by chemical weapons. The evidence puts increasing pressure on the Turkish government, which has long been suspected of using such weapons against Kurdish rebels. German politicians are demanding an investigation.

It would be difficult to exceed the horror shown in the photos, which feature burned, maimed and scorched body parts. The victims are scarcely even recognizable as human beings. Turkish-Kurdish human rights activists believe the people in the photos are eight members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) underground movement, who are thought to have been killed in September 2009.

In March, the activists gave the photos to a German human rights delegation comprised of Turkey experts, journalists and politicians from the far-left Left Party, as SPIEGEL reported at the end of July. Now Hans Baumann, a German expert on photo forgeries has confirmed the authenticity of the photos, and a forensics report released by the Hamburg University Hospital has backed the initial suspicion, saying that it is highly probable that the eight Kurds died “due to the use of chemical substances.”

Did the Turkish army in fact use chemical weapons and, by doing so, violate the Chemical Weapons Convention it had ratified?

Repeated ‘Mysterious Incidents’

German politicians and human rights experts are now demanding an investigation into the incident. “The latest findings are so spectacular that the Turkish side urgently needs to explain things,” said Claudia Roth, the co-chair of Germany’s Green Party. “It is impossible to understand why an autopsy of the PKK fighters was ordered but the results kept under seal.”

The politician said there had been repeated “mysterious incidents of this type that are crying out for an independent investigation.” Roth demanded that Turkey issue an official statement on the possible use of chemical weapons “in order to nullify further allegations.”
Ruprecht Polenz, a member of the German parliament with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative Christian Democratic Union and the chairman of the Bundestag’s Foreign Relations Committee, sees it the same way. “Turkey needs to urgently look into these accusations,” he told SPIEGEL ONLINE, adding that an international investigation would be the best approach.

Turkey has been suspected of using chemical weapons for years, points out Gisela Penteker, a Turkey expert with the international medical organization International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War. “Local people have said that again and again,” she explained. Finding proof is difficult, however, she said, because bodies were often released so late that it was hardly possible to carry out a thorough autopsy.

‘PKK Propaganda’

In Turkey, human rights advocates have long demanded an investigation. The army, however, has refused to comment on the issue. Similarly, the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been stubbornly silent or tried to portray the accusations of war crimes as “PKK propaganda.”

“The prime minister is not interested in human rights violations,” says Akin Birdal, a member of the Turkish parliament whose pro-Kurdish BDP opposition party has repeatedly questioned in parliament if Erdogan’s war in the southeast of the country is really being conducted legally. In Birdal’s view, the only thing that matters to Erdogan is that the army eradicates the PKK problem once and for all “by any means necessary.”
The Turkish Foreign Ministry has rejected the accusations, according to the Berlin daily newspaper Die Tageszeitung, which reported on the case Thursday. Turkey is a signatory to the Chemical Weapons Convention, and its armed forces do not possess any biological or chemical weapons, the ministry reportedly said.

The newspaper also reports that it has obtained additional, shocking pictures in the meantime, supposedly autopsy photographs of six other killed Kurds. These images, too, have now been submitted to the Hamburg-based experts.


Put a Stop to the Turkish Army’s Crimes Against Humanity

Remzi Kartal / Kongra Gel Chairmanship

The news concerning the Turkish army‟s use of chemical weapons against Kurdistan Freedom Struggle guerrillas has been reported in the German media. In response, the SPD, Greens, Left Party and the CDU officials stated that this situation is unacceptable and they called for investigation into the incident.

German Federal Parliament Disarmament Commission chairman and the SPD Foreign Relations spokesman, deputy Uta Zapf, put the issue on the parliamentary agenda by her proposal for an investigation into the allegations and asked the foreign minister to refer the issue to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) for the investigation into this incident and uncovering of the truth.

Turkish foreign ministry officials announced that they did not accept the claims and they said that they were carrying out a fight against the PKK on many levels. This amounts to an admission by the Turkish foreign ministry that as a state they are carrying out a full-scale war.

Although, in the past many state officials have said that there is a low-intensity war in Kurdistan, the Turkish state officially claimed that it is a struggle against terrorism, not a war. Unfortunately, this policy of the Turkish state, which denies the fact, was taken as a principal claim in international relations and has been supported.

Yet the reality of what is taking place in Kurdistan is an armed conflict which is not between states according to the Geneva Convention, which determines the international law of war, and how combatants should conduct themselves. In other words, if the parties do not comply with international law, the relevant international mechanisms need to take action.

Because the international community have closed their eyes to what is happening in Kurdistan and are compliant with the Turkish state policies, the Turkish state has carried out a dirty and an unlawful war in Kurdistan that has got completely out of control. Relying on this compliance and support and believing that there will be no international public inspection and pressure, the Turkish state carried out systematic atrocities in Kurdistan and this has been an ongoing reality for decades. Unfortunately, the voice of the Kurdish people was not heard on this issue.
These atrocities, which are being committed by the Turkish state in Kurdistan, are a crime against humanity. It is an eradication of all human values, which have been gained through the thousands years of struggle of humanity. In condoning the violence for years, the international community has inflicted irreparable damage at the heart of people in Kurdistan. The lack of humanitarian solidarity has deepened the sense of rebellion and anger among Kurdish people.

Through this reality, the investigation of the allegations of the “use of chemical weapons against the Kurdish guerrillas “, which was reported in the German press and was brought before the Federal Parliament, is very important for the revealing the truth. We believe that by taking this issue to the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) the German foreign ministry will perform a great humanitarian task.

The revealing of the truth will help put an end to the violence which is ongoing in Kurdistan. It will also bring the reality of war, which was kept close, to the attention of public opinion. These developments will serve the cause of peace and democracy in Turkey and Kurdistan.
We, as the chairmanship of Kongra Gel, would like to state that we are ready to support any attempt and action regarding both the work of the OPCW and the work of any delegations, which will be sent from Germany to investigate the incident.

Murat Karayilan: Chemical weapons in use for 16 years

Kurdish Info 19.08.2010

On 18th of August, 2010, the Chairman of the Executive Council of the KCK, Murat Karayilan, answered questions from the ANF news agency regarding the reports in the German media on the use of chemical weapons by the Turkish state.

Karayilan said that the Turkish state army had been using chemical weapons for 16 years now. And, this has again brought to agenda before by a labororatuary in Munich/Germany. He said that Turkey regularly uses chemical weapons in some areas against the guerrillas. This is not something new. The Turkish state army has been using chemical weapons against our guerrilla forces wherever they have got into difficulty against the guerrillas during the clashes since 1994. Even in the spring of 1999, I think it was in May, 20 of our guerrillas under the command of friend Hamza, have been martyred near the village of Bilika/Cudi/Sirnak as a result of the use of chemical weapons by the Turkish state army. After the clashes, our friends found a tube of the chemical that had been used against the guerrillas on the scene where the clashes occurred. This tube was sent to Europe, where I was at that time. So, I personally followed closely on this issue to be analysed in the laboratories. And, we sent it to a lab in Munich, Germany to analyse the contents of the tube. After that, the result of the analysis was that there was a chemical element to effect a certain small area.

So, Germany knows that chemical weapons have been used against the guerrilla forces since that time. What I do not know is why they put this report on the agenda now. And, according to the reports in the press, they even took the case to the German parliament. So, for the last sixteen years there is use of chemical weapons against our guerrillas. Despite the result of the container with the chemical element, no one, including the international forces, either said or did anything about it. Somehow, we could not carry this to the international agenda at the time. Yet, now this has been put onto the agenda in Germany. It has to be followed to see how serious they can be to stay on this case. However, it is a reality that Turkey uses chemical weapons, not everywhere, but wherever they see it is as suitable to use.



On March 24, 2006, Turkish military forces carried out a comprehensive land and air operation against our HPG guerrillas in the south of Mus, which was among Mus Center, Kulp, Genc and Solhan.

On March 24 starting at 6:00am back of Sere Spi, Berbihiv, 15 August and Geliye Pirijman areas have been taken by airborne of ten Sikorsky type helicopters.

The same day at 10.00am, the Turkish armed forces directed to the camp that our guerrilla forces were in. The clashes started as a result of this and continued until the evening. The army reinforced its forces after the clashes continued overnight and the army forces surrounded the camp with these reinforcements, and the clashes continued until the morning. As the clashes continued the next day until noon, the Turkish military forces used chemical gas and heavy weapons.

As a result of intense clashes, which lasted until the evening on March 25, and use of chemical gas, our 14 HPG guerrillas, resisting heroically lost their lives. The names of our guerrillas, who died as martyrs as a result of the chemical weapons used in the operation are as below;
Eris Amed, Rojhat, Berxwedan Garzan, Merxas Haki, Mervan Garisa, Mazlum Siser, Zafer, Xemgin Amed, Kawa Nemrut, Rebin Ronahi, Hamza Kubani, Karker Ciwanro, Cekdar Diyar, Aso Rojhilat


Turkish State‟s army is using chemical weapons when they cannot break the resistances of the guerrillas.

On December 4, 2008, an operation was carried out by the Turkish army against our guerrillas in Gire Resti, Kani Botke, Geliye Tirsike and Kaplani areas of Besta. The second day of the operation, which was December 5, at 11a.m., intensive clashes took place between the Turkish army and our guerrilla forces. Clashes lasted until 15.30pm.

The Turkish army, which could not break the resistance of our guerilla forces with every kind of technics, tried to counteract our guerrillas using chemical weapons. As a result of the chemical weapons, our friend Servan ( Sasan Mehdizade) lost his life.


The Turkish army having not being able to defeat our guerilla forces, has resorted to the use of chemical weapons.

On September 8, 2009 at 3am Hesete, Gise and Zavite areas of Cukurca town of Hakkari district and Duguh, Merga Semzin, Geliye Zavite, Deriye Rebene, Ciyaye Samura, Kani Kile, Coxe, Helvesis Hill, Geliye Tiyare, Guza Res areas were targeted by the bombardment of the Cobra type helicopters and by more than ten Sikorsky type helicopters of Turkish army. Despite of the great sensitivity of our guerrillas, the same day at about 12.00pm, they were forced to engage in clashes.

After the clashes, on September 9, our forces, who were forced to engage in clashes, with great resisitance did not let Turkish army to take the control of the area. The evening of September 14, 2009 at about 18.00pm, under the same operation the third clash took place between Turkish army and our guerrilla forces. The Turkish army, which could not defeat our guerrillas in all those three clashes, resorted to use chemical weapons. As a result of those clashes, 12 Turkish army soldiers were killed by our guerrillas and the net numbers of the injured soldiers could not be clarified. While two Sikorsky type helicopters were damaged during those clashes by our forces, our 8 guerillas (Kemal-Aziz Ozer, Dilges – Ramazan Yildiz, Cudi-Rizgar Askan, Abbas- Kahraman Sex Ali, Cekdar-Salih Gulec, Mazlum-Yahya Musazade, Sila-Aliye Timur, Hedar- Hanife Ali) lost their lives by the chemical weapons that Turkish army used. This operation terminated on on September 15, 2009.


A Survey of Biological and Biochemical Weapons Related Research Activities in Turkey
8 December 2004 / Research and writing of this report was supported by a grant from the German Greenpeace Environmental Foundation

Information on Turkey‟s biodefense activities is very difficult to obtain. In its annual declarations to the United Nations under the Biological Weapons Convention, Turkey has declared that it has no biodefense program at all. Information obtained through open sources indicates that this is not true. In fact, Turkay‟s major military hospital, the Gulhane Military Medical Academy (GATA) has a special department for defense research and development activities, including biological defense. The exact nature and extent of the biodefense work at GATA is unclear. In addition, projects related to biodefense – e.g. the development of sterilization techniques for anthrax bacteria – are conducted at civilian institutions, including the Etlik Veterinary Control and Research Institute and probably also the Refik Saydam Hygiene Center.

Turkey‟s declarations that deny the existence of its biodefense program constitute violations of its obligations under the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC). We did not obtain any indication that the Turkish Armed Forces are engaged in any illicit activities related to an offensive biological warfare program, but the Turkish government violated its obligation to annually submit to the United Nations comprehensive information about its biodefense program in order to enhance transparency and build confidence among the States Parties to the BWC.
Due to the opacity of the Turkish government, we were unable to determine exact figures for the Turkish military‟s biodefense budget. The Turkish government and the relevant institutions did not respond to written questions about their biodefense research.

In summary, a radical change of the Turkish government towards transparency and improved confidence building measures is urgently needed to counter suspicions about the nature, extent and objective of its activities related to biowarfare agents. The Turkish government must uphold its obligation under the BWC and publish annually comprehensive information about its biodefense activities in order to increase confidence between countries.

One important question that needs to be resolved concerns the status of an alleged secret directive of the Turkish Army permitting the use of chemical and biological measures in counter-terrorist activities.

Absent a clarification from the Turkish government it remains an open question if this document is a forgery or authentic and, if so, if remains in force. If this directive is genuine, the current Turkish government should initiate an independent investigation of this matter and must ensure that no offensive biological weapons activities are conducted, prepared or permitted in Turkey.

The Turkish Armed Forces used and likely still use so called „non-lethal‟ chemical weapons such as tear gas in military combat. In at least one incident tear gas grenades were used in a military operation against armed Kurds that left twenty dead. This violates the Chemical Weapons Convention which prohibits explicitly “to use riot control agents as a method of warfare”.

2.Biodefense and related activities in Turkey

According to official Turkish government documents, Turkey does not have a research or development program to defend against biological weapons. Turkey, as a State Party to the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), is obliged to submit annually a declaration to the United Nations on certain biological activities. These declarations are called Confidence Building Measure (CBM).1
The CBMs submitted by Turkey consistently claim that no defensive biological research and development programme exists in the country. Biodefense activities would include, according to the CBM format, “prophylaxis, studies on pathogenicity and virulence, diagnostic techniques, aerobiology, detection, treatment, toxinology, physical protection, decontamination and other related research”.

Based on open sources we conclude that this official declaration of the Turkish government is not true and that biodefense work in Turkey is performed in a variety of different institutions. The key institution appears to be the Gulhane Military Medical Academy (GATA) in Ankara, which has an NBC department. We were, however, unable to determine the size, objectives and exact nature of the biodefense work at GATA, nor was it possible to determine the overall biodefense structure and budget in Turkey.

The official website of the Turkish Ministry of Defense features a chart outlining the organisational structure of its Research and Development Unit, which includes an NBC-department2 (see picture next page). The physical location of this department is not clear, it may or may not be identical to the NBC unit at GATA.

In addition to research and development activities at GATA and elsewhere, the Turkish Armed Forces have an NBC school in Kücükyali, Istanbul, that is equipped with a chemical testing laboratory. 3 In this chapter, all information on biodefense related activities in Turkey indicated by open sources is summarised. It is possible that other Turkish institutions are involved in biodefense activities, and it is likely that the facilities listed below are engaged in additional activities that we are unable to document.

2.1 Gulhane Military Medical Academy – GATA

The Gulhane Military Medical Academy (Gülhane Askeri Tıp Akademisi – GATA) is one of the biggest military medical institutions in Turkey. While its main location is in Ankara, it also maintains a hospital and research center in Istanbul. GATA is engaged in a broad range of standard medical research, most of which is unrelated to biowarfare issues. Several laboratories at GATA are working in the field of microbiology, including the Department of Infectious Diseases at GATA-Istanbul and the Departments for Clinical Microbiology and for Virology in Ankara. A search in the PubMed database6 using a combined query for Gulhane and microbiology retrieved 58 publications, all of them but one unrelated to typical biowarfare agents. The one exception was a review of 32 cases of naturally occurring anthrax in Turkey published by the GATA hospital in Istanbul.7 But in addition to the standard medical research, GATA is also engaged in military NBC defense research and development. In 1983, an NBC department was founded at GATA in Ankara. It is part of the Military Health Services Department. The department “conducts research on the medical effects, diagnosis and treatment of nuclear, biological and chemical substances that can be used for military and terrorist purposes and gives NBC training to the Turkish Armed Forces and civilians.”8
The NBC department has its own laboratories covering one floor of the Research & Development Department building at GATA in Ankara. According to its website, it cooperates with universities in some projects. It has a staff of four (three medical doctors and one biologist) and is headed by pharmacist professor, Colonel Turan Karayilanoglu. Several scientific publications from the NBC Department at GATA indicate that its major research focus has probably been on chemical weapons.9
In addition to NBC defense research and development, GATA is obviously also tasked with training and education. A GATA NBC Medical Rescue Team was established to prepare and practice for potential NBC attacks. According to one publication, a practical exercise simulating a chemical attack was conducted at GATA.10 GATA was also involved in a NBC defense workshop organised by Refik Saydam Hygiene Center (see below).
Absent any official statement or declaration on this subject, it is not possible to assess whether biological defense – as compared to nuclear or chemical defense – plays an important role at GATA.

2.2 Refik Saydam Hygiene Center – RSHM11
The Refik Saydam Hygiene Center (Refik Saydam Hıfzıssıhha Merkezi Başkanlığı – RSHM)12 is a key biomedical research institution in Turkey that is tasked with control of medical products and the production of vaccines. According to the Turkish CBM 2003, it is fully financed by the Turkish Ministryof Health.13

It appears that RSHM is also involved, to an extent, in chemical and biological defense work. RSHM is a focal point to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, OPCW14 and analyses chemical warfare agents and snake venoms.15 On its Turkish – but not its English – website, RSHM names explicitly the Turkish Ministry of Defense as one cooperator.16 The nature and extent of this cooperation remain unclear.
In May 2004, RSHM organised a one week training on NBC defense for Turkish doctors. The program17 included introductory classes to chemical and biological weapons, decontamination techniques and training with gas masks and protective suits. In addition to RHSM personnel, GATA and the Turkish Civil Defence Organisation were involved in organising this workshop.18

RSHM maintains a collection of bacterial and fungal cultures including the typical biowarfare agents Bacillus anthracis (anthrax), Yersinia pestis (plague), Francisella tularensis (tularaemia) and Burkholderia mallei (glanders). 19 All of these are or were naturally occurring in Turkey, hence this strain collection is not necessarily specifically linked to biodefense activities.

2.3 Etlik Veterinary Control and Research Institute20

The Food Irradiation and Sterilization Department of the Etlik Institute works predominantly on radiation technologies to sterilize disposable medical material. One of its ongoing research projects (“Elimination of Bacillus anthracis 34F2 Spores by using Radioactivity”) 21 appears to be related to biodefense. According to the project leader, the Turkish Atomic Energy Agency (TAEK) has oversight over this project.22
Regarding the vaccine production capability at Etlik please see section 4.1 on page 11.

2.4 Tubitak

In November 2002, the Turkish Ministry of Defense ordered 300,000 NBC protection suits from TUBITAK, the Turkish Scientific and Technical Research Organisation.23

TUBITAK is doing contract research and development work for the Turkish Armed Forces. One example is a powder – called the T-1 Cleaning Powder – shielding against chemical weapons that has recently been developed by TUBITAK‟s Chemical Technologies Research Institute in its Marmara Research Center (MAM-MKTAE).24

3. A secret directive permitting use of chemical, biological agents?

On 23 July 1989, the Turkish newspaper Ikibine Dogru published an article on chemical weapons in which it reproduced parts of an alleged secret security directive (reproduced on the following page) of the Turkish Armed Forces permitting the use of chemical and biological weapons in the war against Kurdish fighters. The same parts of the directive were also reproduced in a book on chemical and biological weapons published in 1992 by the Kurdish author Celadet Celiker.25

According to excerpts reproduced in Ikibine Dogru, the directive was issued on 25 February 1986 and was signed by Necdet Öztorun, at that time commander of the Turkish Army. In paragraph 5) it describes permitted methods to destroy tunnels, including:

(d) Can be filled with poison gas.

(e) Can be rendered unusable by breeding specially bred poisonous insects.”In another section, the same document reads”

c. Gas bombs and …

d. NBC Weapons: fog, fire making substances, tear and emetic gases are being used when necessary by friendly forces.”

It is an open question whether or not the directive that was reproduced in Ikibine Dogru is indeed issued by the Turkish Armed Forces or whether it is a forgery. We located the alleged author of the directive, Necdet Öztorun, who is now working at Isik University.26 Öztorun did not respond to requests for further information. Considering that the Turkish government never explicitly denied the existence of this directive, it appears to be likely that the directive was indeed issued by the Turkish Armed Forces. Whether or not it is still in force remains unclear.

From a biological arms control point of view, the reference to insects in paragraph 5.e. is alarming. This would constitute a hostile use of biological agents and would thus be an outright violation of the Biological Weapons Convention (which Turkey ratified on 5 November 1974). It is also unlikely that the Turkish Armed Forces would permit the use of „specially bred poisonous insects‟ if plans or ongoing activities to actually produce these insects were not underway. If this directive is authentic or even still in force, a thorough investigation of the directive and its implementation is warranted. Were insects ever used for hostile purposes by Turkish forces? To what extent were such insects produced, plans for production made or research and development efforts undertaken in that direction?

If the directive is authentic, the current Turkish government should initiate an investigation into this issue and report all results to the States Parties of the BWC, for example through the annual Confidence Building Measures which include the means to declare past offensive activities. The possible use of chemical agents – as also indicated in the directive – are further discussed in chapter 5 on page 15.

4. A short overview on Turkey’s biological capabilities

Microbiology and the production of biological agents are technology areas with a pronounced dual-use character. Nearly all knowledge and nearly every item that is needed to produce large volumes of biological agents for BW purposes is also relevant for civilian – e.g. medical – purposes. Thus, many countries in the world have the technological basis to engage in an offensive biowarfare program, because they maintain research, development and/or production activities for legitimate purposes. Hence the capability of a country to produce biological agents does not indicate any malign intent, but the absence of any such capability is an indication that a given country may be less likely to engage in illicit activities or may be confronted with major technological difficulties if it starts a BW program.

In the following, we give a short overview on Turkey‟s capabilities in the biological area. This overview is based on a standardized methodology used in all Sunshine Project Country Reports. It allows for a comparative assessment (or ranking) of the capabilities of different countries in the area of research, development and production.

In order to compare countries, we used parameters where global data is available. This is particularly difficult in the area of biotechnology. As no universal and agreed definition of the term „biotechnology‟ exists, hardly any global assessments or rankings on biotechnological capabilities are available.The parameters that are used in the following were selected for the simple reason that comparative data was available. They have limitations, but in combination they give an indication of a country‟s biological capabilities. For the areas of production and development, only quantitative data was available, while the PubMed database27 allows also for a qualitative assessment of research capabilities.

4.1 Production

The capability to produce biological agents may be assessed on the basis of two parameters: the number of biotechnology companies and vaccine production capacity. No data is available on the number of biotechnology companies in Turkey. The Ernst & Young Global Biotechnology Report that was used in other Sunshine Project Country Reports does not provide data on Turkey.

With regard to vaccine production, a good information source providing global data is WHO, which maintains a database of most producers of human vaccines worldwide. While some of information – particularly the production quantities – is confidential and not disclosed, the list of the manufacturers and the types of vaccines they produce is available from WHO. The number of different vaccine types produced in a country may be taken as an indication of biological production capability.

Refik Saydam Hygiene Center: According to the WHO data, Turkey has one human vaccine manufacturer, the Refik Saydam Hygiene Center (RSHM), which produces a combined diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis vaccine. In addition, RSHM is also producing BCG (tuberculosis) vaccine.28

The RSHM-website indicates that a new production process for tetanus vaccine using fermenters was introduced in the mid 1990s.29 RSHM is also responsible for quality control of a broad range of other human vaccines that are obviously imported from other manufacturers.
Etlik Veterinary Control and Research Institute:30 This institute is located in Ankara and produces a variety of animal vaccines31. This includes anthrax vaccine (Sterne strain) for animal use. According to the Turkish CBMs 1997-1999 and a BWC Review Conference document, 32 Yersinia pestis (plague) vaccine is also produced at Etlik, which would raise some questions at this particular institute as plague is not a typical animal disease. It appears to be likely that this entry in the CBMs is a translation error and that Rinderpest vaccine, and not plague vaccine, is produced. A website of the institute indicates that it has a viral vaccine production capacity is 20 million doses annually and that Rinderpest virus vaccine is produced there.33

Foot and Mouth Disease Institute:34: This government laboratory in Ankara is responsible for foot and mouth disease (FMD) diagnostics and vaccine production. In 2001, it produced 24 million doses of FMD vaccine and was projected to increase its output significantly.35
Pendik Veterinary Control and Research Institute:36 According to the 1997-1999 CBMs, this institute is only engaged in serum production, but its website37 and other internet sources,38 as well as a background document of the Fourth Review Conference of the BWC show that it is also producing vaccines and toxins.39 The Pendik Veterinary Institute sells a variety of vaccines, including botulinum vaccine, but it is unclear if these are produced at the Institute or imported.

Vetal Company:40 This private company was founded in 1991 and sells a broad range of animal vaccines including anthrax, botulinum, brucellosis and FMD vaccines. According to the company‟s website, “all main vaccines” are produced by Vetal itself, with technical cooperation with an Argentinean vaccine producer.41 This include the production of FMD vaccine which was authorised by the Turkish authorities in 1998.42
Another animal vaccine producer, e.g. for Gumboro or Newcastle disesase, is the state owned Poultry Disease Research and Vaccine Production Institute in Manisa43 Neither the Poultry Disease Research and Vaccine Production Institute nor Vetal have ever been mentioned in Turkey‟s CBMs.

4.2 Development

The number of patents in a particular technology area may be taken as an approximate value for the capabilities of a given country in the area of development. As national patent databases are likely to be regionally biased and because key-word based searches may reflect variations in terminology rather than differences in patenting, we chose an international patent search using a globally harmonized system of technology codes.

The EspaceNet database of the European Patent Office allows for global searches using the International Patent Classification (IPC) system. We counted all IPC class C12 patents, which include all inventions related to “Biochemistry; Beer; Spirits; Wine; Vinegar; Microbiology; Enzymology; Mutation or Genetic Engineering”.44

With a total number of 8 priority patents in IPC class C12, Turkey holds in this category the global rank 48. These patents include methods related to beer brewing, bacterial transformation kits, antibacterial susceptibility tests, and a method to produce Hepatitis B virus surface antigens by means of genetic engineering.

4.3 Research

The relative strength of Turkish research in areas relevant to BW is indicated by the number of scientific publications on issues pertinent to BW agents. For the purpose of this study, anti-personnel agents that have been stockpiled or otherwise weaponized by state armed forces since 1946,45 according to their possessor states, were used as examples of typical BW agents (see figure 1).

A search in the PubMed database was conducted, using the term „Turkey‟ in the affiliation of the corresponding author, combined with the scientific names of the agents (bacteria and viruses) or the name of the toxin in case of the four toxins. The search was restricted to the five-year period 1999-2003 to get a recent account of research activities.46

For each biological agent, the total number of scientific papers was determined and expressed as percent of the global number47 of papers in this category. As a control, a general microbiology-related query48 was used to determine the overall share of Turkish papers in the relevant field.
Figure 1 below shows the result. 0.8% of all publications on microbiological issues were published by a Turkish corresponding author. Turkey appears to have an above average research focus on Francisella tularensis, Bacillus anthracis and botulinum toxin. As a specific research focus in one country may be attributable to specific environmental or other regional conditions, a similar analysis was performed on four neighbouring countries. As shown in figure 2, no above average research focus could be determined for the three agents in these countries. Based on publications, these three agents appear to be a Turkish speciality.

However, as the total number of Turkish research papers on Francisella was only two, both of which dealing with case studies, this is not considered to be significant. All publications from Turkish corresponding authors on botulinum toxin deal with new treatments for a variety of conditions using botulinum toxin A. From the 16 anthrax-related publications, one is a general review article, six are about individual case reports, all from different hospitals all around Turkey. Another six publications deal with epidemiol ogical overviews on anthrax cases in different parts of Turkey, including one published by the Gulhane Military Medical Academy in Istanbul.49 Only two publications, both from university hospitals, were experimental and investigated the antibiotic susceptibility of anthrax isolates.

5. Turkish use of ‘non-lethal’ chemical weapons

In the past, Turkish Armed Forces have used tear gas in military combat, and security forces in Turkey are still trained to use chemical agents in combat, for example, if fighting enemies in caves. While most cases of alleged use of tear gas by Turkish forces against Kurdish fighters are difficult to assess, there is at least one incident where some hard evidence for the use of tear gas in a combat exists.

On 11 May 1999, Turkish armed forces used CS gas near Balikaya, southeast of Sirnak, against armed Kurds hiding in a cave. A piece of shrapnel collected in that cave was provided by a Kurdish member of the red crescent to a German TV journalist. An analysis of the shrapnel at the Institute for Forensic Medicine at the University of Munich identified CS gas. According to the German TV, the CS grenades were of the type RP707.50 They were produced in Germany by Buck and were exported to Turkey with an official export license since 1995.51 Although the chemical analysis is conclusive, there is no independent proof that the shrapnel provided to the German laboratory was removed from the cave in Sirnak/Balikaya, hence some uncertainty about this incident remains.

A Foreign Minstry spokesperson denied the allegations made by German TV with the argument that Turkey meticulously abides to its obligation not to develop, produce or stockpile chemical weapons and hence cannot use such weapons.55 The spokesperson did not relate to the fact that the chemical weapon used was CS gas, which is without doubt stockpiled in Turkey, as it was imported at least from the UK56 and Germany under export licenses.

The fight at Balikaya left 20 combatants dead. It is unclear whether they died from high concentrations of tear gas or whether they were shot when leaving the gassed cave. But in any case a use of chemical agents in such a military combat situation constitutes a violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention which explicitly prohibits use of ” riot control agents as a method of warfare”.

A recent video documentary produced by the Turkish radio and TV station TRT shows that Turkish anti-terrorist forces are still trained to use tear gas in military combat. The thirty minute video features several different training situations. In one scenario, the security forces use explosive grenades against enemies in a cave and thereafter use tear gas grenades to disable any persons left alive in the cave (see picture below left). In another scenario, Turkish security forces fight insurgents in a village, blasting a house and finally using tear gas to force an enemy out of hiding in a well (see picture below right).While the use of tear gas in domestic law enforcement situations is not prohibited under international law, it raises concerns if they are used in such situations and in combination with deadly force and an intent to kill.

Several times in the past 15 years the Turkish security forces have been accused by Kurdish groups to have used chemical agents, but in most cases these allegations were not supported by evidence.57

In turn, Kurdish fighters have been accused of using chemical weapons in Turkey.58 None of these competing claims has been supported by even the slightest piece of evidence.

The origin of a mysterious poisoning of 2070 Kurdish refugees in a camp at Mardin in Turkey in June 1989 remains unresolved. The Kurdish Democratic Party stated at that time that Iraqi agents poisoned bread eaten at the camp.59 British scientists obtained and analysed blood samples from victims and found indirect evidence for organophosphate poisoning. They ruled out accidental poisoning by commercial organophosphates and strongly suspected deliberate poisoning using a potent nerve agent. Due to limited sample availability, however, they could not identify the nature and source of the agent.60

6. Turkish Confidence Building Measures and Transparency

6.1 BWC ratification

Turkey is party to all major biological and chemical arms control agreements. On 5 October 1929, it ratified the Geneva Protocol with no reservations. 61 It ratified the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) on 5 November 1974.

Turkey does not have specific legislation implementing the BWC.62 According to Article 90 of the Turkish Constitution, however, international agreements duly put into effect in Turkey carry the force of law.63 In addition, violation of BWC provisions may, according to Turkish officials, fall within the jurisdiction of the following acts, although it is not altogether clear how biological weapons are regulated by these laws:64

• Law No. 3736 On the Control of Private Industrial Enterprises Producing War Weapons;

• Law No. 6136 on fire arms, knives and other weapons;

• Law No. 3713 to fight terrorism;

• Turkish Criminal Code.

The Chemical Weapons Convention was ratified by Turkey on 12 May 1997.65

6.2 Confidence Building Measures – next to non-existent

Many of the questions and uncertainties cited in this report could and should have been addressed in the CBMs submitted by Turkey to the United Nations. According to the final document of the Third Review Conference of the Biological Weapons Convention, Turkey has the obligation to annually submit a comprehensive and complete declaration on its biodefense program. To date, Turkey has not even remotely
comply with this obligation. The Turkish government and the relevant institutions did not reply to written requests for clarification of issues presented and questions raised in this report.66

In each year from 1993 through 2001 and in 2003, Turkey submitted a confidence building measure (CBM) under the BWC. None of these CBMs indicated the existence of a biodefense program or identified a biodefense research facility of the Turkish Armed Forces. See table 1 for an overview. Turkey did not submit confidence building measures (CBMs) under the BWC in 1992 and 2002.

The CBMs that have been submitted by the Turkish government contain very limited information and thus do not build confidence from an arms control point of view. In one case (2001), Turkey submitted only the cover form, and in other years only one additional page on vaccine producers. The CBMs from 1997 through 1999 were identical, as were the CBMs in 2000 and 2003.67

The incomplete Turkish CBMs – especially with regard to the nature, scope and location of the Turkish biodefense program – raise concerns as they contribute to suspicions about the objective of Turkey‟s biowarfare-related activities, especially in connection with the alleged secret security directive permitting the use of insect and chemical weapons in conflicts with Kurdish fighters.

It has been argued that the current CBM format requires declaration only for a facility “which has a substantial proportion of its resources devoted to the national biological defence research and development programme”68, and not for all facilities involved in a biodefense program. Considering that the term „facility‟ is not clearly defined, probably every biodefense institution in the world could be excluded from the declaration requirement if the term „facility‟ is creatively interpreted by the declaring country. Considering that the purpose of CBMs is to create confidence, countries should abstain from dubious manipulations of the term “facility” to justify omitting significant biodefense institutions from their declarations. The more elements of a national biodefense program that are excluded from a CBM submission intended to build confidence, the more paradoxical the CBM‟s effect will be. This is especially true for Turkey, which explicitly denied the existence of a biodefense program in its CBMs.

The Turkish government is not making its CBMs available to the general public. Other governments (Australia, USA) have placed their CBMs on the internet. It is strongly recommended that Turkey follows this example.

To show support for the international ban on biological weapons, and if it supports a strengthening of the Biological Weapons Convention, Turkey should contribute to building confidence by submitting future CBMs that are complete, consistent and unambiguous.

7. Government Undertaking on Biodefense Programs

The Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) prohibits the development, production and stockpiling of biological agents intended to harm humans, animals, plants, materials or the environment.The BTWC allows for defensive research; but contains no exemption for law enforcement, riot control or similar purposes. While biodefense programs81 are necessary for protection against biological warfare, they can also blur the distinction between offensive and defensive activities and an offensive capability may be generated in the course of defensive work.There is an urgent need to ensure that governments restrict themselves in biodefense programs and guarantee full transparency in all aspects of biodefense research, to prevent a race for offensive capabilities under cover of defense. We call on all governments to adopt this Undertaking and to make it binding upon their biodefense programs.

Ensuring Transparency

No biodefense research shall be conducted with legal secrecy (classification). All aspects of biodefense activities shall be made available to the public and to other countries, including details on the type, costs, budget, location, duration, intent and, in most cases, results of all projects. In a limited numer of cases the detailed results (but no other aspects) of biodefense activities may need to be kept confidential, however, these shall be limited to results that are more than likely to generate a demonstrable threat.

Prohibitions on Certain Activities

Delivery Devices: Delivery mechanisms having a design that is appropriate for hostile use with biological agents shall not, for any purpose, be developed or constructed.

Genetic engineering: Biodefense programs will not, for any purpose, utilize or construct, including single-gene changes, novel biological agents with an enhanced offensive potential.82

Weaponization: Active biological agents that could be used to cause harm shall not be weaponized.83

Aerosolization: Aerosolization of active biological agents in biodefense programs shall be prohibited except for bench-scale testing of passive defenses. (

Documentation in German


DER SPIGEL 26. Juli 2010

Die Armee setzt im Kampf gegen die kurdische Untergrundorganisation PKK womöglich auch chemische Waffen ein. Das legen die Fotos von acht getöteten PKK-Rebellen nahe, die zwischen dem 8. und 15. September 2009 während eines türkischen Militäreinsatzes im Grenzgebiet zum Irak ums Leben kamen. Die Bilder, die vor einigen Wochen deutschen Menschenrechtlern zugespielt und auf ihre Authentizität überprüft wurden, zeigen stark verbrannte und verätzte Körper. Einem Gutachten des Hamburger Universitätsklinikums zufolge starben die acht Kurden wahrscheinlich durch den Einsatz chemischer Substanzen. Sollte die türkische Armee tatsächlich Giftstoffe verwenden, wäre das ein Verstoß gegen die Chemiewaffenkonvention, die auch von der Türkei ratifiziert wurde. “In diesem Fall handelt es sich um gravierende Kriegsverbrechen”, so der deutsche Türkei-Experte Martin Dolzer. Menschenrechtler verlangten bisher vergebens Aufklärung durch die Regierung von Ministerpräsident Recep Tayyip Erdogan; sie verweigert zu diesem Thema jeden Kommentar. “Erdogan interessiert sich nicht für Menschenrechtsverletzungen”, so Akin Birdal von der prokurdischen Oppositionspartei. “Für ihn zählt nur, dass die Armee das PKK-Problem aus der Welt schafft – mit welchen Methoden auch immer.”


von Helmut Lorscheid, 23.07.2010, Telepolis

Der Abgeordneter der Linken, [extern] Andrej Hunko, und mehrere Menschenrechtsaktivisten erhoben auf einer Pressekonferenz in Berlin schwere Vorwürfe gegen die Türkei. Sie legten Fotos und Gutachten vor, die den Einsatz von C-Waffen im Kampf gegen die kurdische PKK belegen sollen. Die Unterlagen wurden ihnen von türkischen Menschenrechtlern übergeben und in Deutschland auf ihre Plausibilität und die Fotos auf mögliche Manipulationen hin untersucht.

Den Berichten zufolge wurden nahe der türkisch-irakischen Grenze, in der Provinz Hakkari, zwischen dem 8. und 15. September letzten Jahres acht Menschen Opfer eines Einsatzes von chemischen Substanzen durch das türkische Militär. Augenzeugen berichteten von dem Vorfall und beschrieben, dass Soldaten gasförmige, allem Anschein nach chemische Substanzen in Form von Geschossen in eine Höhle in der Nähe der türkisch-irakischen Grenzstadt Cukurca (Provinz Hakkari) einbrachten und wenige Zeit später acht Menschen, Mitglieder der Guerilla der PKK, aus dieser Höhle bargen. Einige der bereits leblosen Körper wurden daraufhin zusätzlich von Panzerfahrzeugen überfahren und/oder erschossen. Bei den Toten handelt es sich um Rizgar Askan, Aziz Özer, Ramazan Yildiz, Kahraman ?ex Ali, Yahya Musazade, Salih Güleç, Aliye Timur und Hanife Ali, im Alter von 19 bis 33 Jahren.

Eines der vorgelegten Fotos. Vermerk aus der mündlichen Begutachtung des Gerichtsmediziners: “Hier sind bei erster Betrachtung Auswirkungen, wie sie eigentlich nur bei Verbrennungen oder Verätzungen durch chemische Substanzen vorkommen können, zu sehen. Bei näherer Betrachtung kann es sich nicht um Verbrennungen durch Feuer handeln. Die Brusthaare sind nicht auf diese Art oder gar nicht verbrannt und auch die Wundränder und weitere Merkmale hätten dann eine andere Ausprägung. Folglich ist die Wahrscheinlichkeit der Einwirkung von chemischen Substanzen, in welcher Form auch immer gegeben. Die sichtbaren Löcher können sowohl durch Schusswaffen als auch durch Granatsplitter oder andere Munition zustande gekommen sein. “
Schon früher Berichte über C-Waffen in der Türkei

Berichte über C-Waffen in der Türkei gibt es schon länger. So [extern] berichtete 1999 die ZDF-Sendung “Kennzeichen D”, der Redaktion lägen “ernst zu nehmende Hinweise” vor, wonach die Türkei unter Verwendung von deutschem Kampfgas gegen die C-Waffen-Konvention verstoßen habe. So habe das türkische Militär bei einem Einsatz gegen Kurden im Mai dieses Jahres (also 1999) in Deutschland hergestellte chemische Gas-Patronen eingesetzt.”

Einem Gutachten des Hamburger Rechtsmediziners Dr. med. [extern] Jan Sterhake, Institut für Rechtsmedizin des Universitätsklinikums Hamburg-Eppendorf, zufolge wurden gegen die acht von der türkischen Armee getöteten Personen mit großer Wahrscheinlichkeit chemische Substanzen eingesetzt.

Menschenrechtler/innen aus der Region hatten einer deutschen Menschenrechtsdelegation, unter anderem Delegierten von Bundestags- und Landtagsabgeordneten, die Augenzeugenberichte übermittelt und Fotos aus dem Zeitraum kurz nach der Obduktion übergeben. Die Fotos sind nach Ansicht des Bildfälschungsexperten Hans Baumann authentisch. Bei einer Begutachtung fand Baumann keinerlei Hinweise auf eine Manipulation der Aufnahmen. Lichtverhältnisse, Details der Leichen und Kameradaten seien konsistent und in dieser Form praktisch nicht fälschbar.

Linke fordern Aufklärung

Darstellungen des Hamburger Soziologen und Türkeiexperten [extern] Martin Dolzer zufolge bestätigt das Gutachten des Hamburger die ihm übermittelten Augenzeugenberichte. Es werde deutlich, dass die türkische Armee gegen die von der Türkei ratifizierte Chemiewaffenkonvention (CWK) verstoße, so Dolzer. Dabei handele es sich” um gravierende, zu verurteilende Menschenrechtsverletzungen und ein Kriegsverbrechen”.
Andrej Hunko, MdB (Die Linke) und Mitglied der Parlamentarischen Versammlung des Europarats, fordert eine gründliche Untersuchung und Aufklärung der Vorwürfe. “Die Verwendung chemischer Waffen ist für Unterzeichnerstaaten der CWK verboten. Sollte sich der Vorwurf eines Chemiewaffeneinsatzes erhärten, muss dies Konsequenzen durch den Executive Council der Organisation für das Verbot chemischer Waffen (OPCW) nach sich ziehen. Die Türkei ist wie alle anderen Unterzeichnerstaaten verpflichtet, sämtliche chemischen Waffen zu deklarieren und abzubauen.”

Der Menschenrechtsaktivist Michael Knapp ergänzt: “Innerhalb des letzten Jahres häufen sich die Berichte über den Einsatz chemischer Substanzen durch das türkische Militär. Im Rahmen der militärischen Auseinandersetzung mit der PKK und Militäroperationen, auch gegen die Natur sowie die Zivilbevölkerung wird immer wieder vom Einsatz chemischer Waffen, postmortaler Verstümmelung u.a. durch Zertrümmern von Körperteilen und durch Säure berichtet.”

Das “Sunshine Project”, eine bis 2008 bestehende NGO, die sich mit der Dokumentation von Biowaffen- und Chemiewaffenproduktion und deren Einsatz beschäftigte, beschrieb in einem [extern] Länderbericht Türkei 2004 mehrfach ähnliche Einsätze der türkischen Armee mit chemischen Substanzen. Des weiteren kritisierte diese NGO, dass eine veröffentlichte militärische Direktive zum Einsatz von Chemiewaffen aus dem Jahr 1986 bis mindestens 2004 weder seitens des Militärs noch seitens einer türkischen Regierung kommentiert oder revidiert worden sei.. In der Direktive wird der Einsatz international geächteter Kampfstoffe wie Giftgas, chemischen Waffen und biologischen Waffen in Form von Insekten thematisiert.
(Artikel-URL: )


Die Welt 12.08.2010

von Boris Kálnoky

Istanbul – Nach jüngst erschienenen Berichten in deutschen Medien soll die Türkei Giftgas gegen Kämpfer der kurdischen PKK eingesetzt haben. Im September 2009 soll die Armee Granaten in eine Höhle gefeuert haben, in der sich acht PKK-Kämpfer aufhielten. Die Soldaten hätten laut Augenzeugen danach eine Weile gewartet und dann die Leichen herausgetragen.

Die Leichen wurden danach beschossen und teilweise mit einem Panzer überrollt. Das legen auch Bilder der Toten nahe, die das Informationszentrum Kurdistan und Vertreter der Linkspartei am 23. Juli in Berlin auf einer Pressekonferenz vorlegten. Am 24. Juli veröffentlichte die Zeitung “Junge Welt” die Informationen.

Als Beleg für den Vorwurf, die Türkei habe Giftgas eingesetzt, dienen Fotos der Leichen: Zwei der acht Leichen weisen großflächige Hautverfärbungen auf, die wie Verbrennungen aussehen. Feuer kann allerdings nicht für die Verbrennungen verantwortlich sein, da das Brusthaar der Toten auf den Bildern nicht verkohlt ist. Die auf der Pressekonferenz vorstellte Dokumentation zitiert ein medizinisches Gutachten, wonach es sich um Giftgaseinwirkung handeln könnte. Ein Fotogutachten belege, dass die Bilder nicht gefälscht wurden.
Ein weiterer Bericht in der Tageszeitung “taz” gestern beruft sich nicht auf die Pressekonferenz vom 23. Juli, sondern verweist auf Material, das ihr im März übergeben worden sei. Inhaltlich scheint das Dossier identisch zu sein mit den früher veröffentlichten Informationen, doch gab die Zeitung ein weiteres Gutachten bei der Uniklinik Eppendorf in Auftrag. Dort hält man einen Giftgaseinsatz ebenfalls für denkbar, aber nicht bewiesen.

Die Türkei hat sich international zur Ächtung von C-Waffen verpflichtet und bestreitet, Giftgas zu besitzen oder einzusetzen. Türkischen Militärexperten zufolge wurden in der Vergangenheit aber Entlaubungsmittel eingesetzt.



Die Zeitm 13. 08. 2010

Politiker und Menschenrechtler haben die Türkei aufgefordert, den Tod von acht kurdischen Rebellen aufzuklären. Diese könnten mit Chemiewaffen getötet worden sein.

Setzt die Türkei in der Auseinandersetzung mit der kurdischen Widerstandsorganisation PKK Chemiewaffen ein? Dies legen zumindest Fotos nahe, deren Authentizität nun durch einen deutschen Bildfälschungsexperten bestätigt wurde, wie Spiegel Online berichtet.

Auf den Fotos, die kurdische Aktivisten bereits Anfang März einer deutschen Menschenrechtsdelegation übergaben, sind verbrannte, verstümmelte und verätzte Körperteile zu sehen. Nach Angaben der türkisch-kurdischen Menschenrechtler handelt es sich dabei um die Leichen von PKK-Kämpfern, die im September 2009 getötet worden seien. Die Tageszeitung (taz) hat die Fotos dem Hamburger Universitätsklinikum vorgelegt. Die Ärzte gingen davon aus, dass die acht Kurden “mit hoher Wahrscheinlichkeit durch den Einsatz chemischer Substanzen” starben. Sollte sich dies als richtig herausstellen, hätte die Türkei damit gegen die auch von ihr unterzeichnete Chemiewaffenkonvention verstoßen.
Politiker unterschiedlicher Parteien fordern nun Aufklärung. “Es ist nicht nachvollziehbar, warum eine Obduktion der Leichen von PKK-Kämpfern angeordnet wird, aber die Ergebnisse unter Verschluss gehalten werden”, sagte die Grünen-Vorsitzende Claudia Roth Spiegel Online. Sie erwarte eine “unabhängige Untersuchung”. Auch CDU-Bundestagsabgeordnete Ruprecht Polenz sprach sich für eine Untersuchung unter internationaler Beteiligung aus.

Die Vorsitzende des Bundestagsausschusses für Abrüstung und Rüstungskontrolle, Uta Zapf (SPD), will Bundesaußenminister Guido Westerwelle auffordern, eine Untersuchung durch die Organisation für das Verbot chemischer Waffen zu veranlassen, die die Einhaltung der Chemiewaffenkonvention überwacht. “So eine Untersuchung hat es aber in der Vergangenheit noch nie gegeben”, sagte Zapf der taz. Die Organisation Internationale Ärzte für die Verhütung des Atomkrieges wies darauf hin, dass der Verdacht, dass die Türkei im Kampf gegen die PKK Chemiewaffen einsetze, seit Langem existiere. Ein Nachweis sei aber bisher nicht möglich gewesen. Dies könnte sich nun ändern. Zumal der taz bereits neue Bilder vorliegen, auf denen möglicherweise die Leichen von sechs weiteren PKK-Rebellen zu sehen sind. Auch diese Fotos werden nun geprüft.

Das türkische Außenministerium wies laut taz alle Vorwürfe zurück. Im Arsenal der Streitkräfte befänden sich keine chemischen oder biologischen Waffen, heißt es aus Ankara.


AG Außenpolitik

Giftgasvorwurf gegen Türkei muss untersucht werden Zu den Presseberichten über einen möglichen Einsatz von Chemiewaffen durch das türkische Militär gegen PKK-Kämpfer erklärt die stellvertretende außenpolitische Sprecherin der SPD-Bundestagsfraktion und Vorsitzende des Unterausschusses Abrüstung des Deutschen Bundestages Uta Zapf:

Die Berichte über den angeblichen Einsatz von Giftgas durch das türkische Militär gegen Mitglieder der PKK sind schockierend. Grundlage der Vorwürfe sind Bilder, die entstellte Leichen zeigen. Ein Gutachten des rechtsmedizinischen Instituts der Uniklinik Hamburg-Eppendorf hat Berichten zufolge ergeben, dass mehrere der abgebildeten toten Kurden mit hoher Wahrscheinlichkeit durch den Einsatz chemischer Substanzen gestorben seien.

Die Türkei ist Mitgliedsstaat der Chemiewaffenkonvention. Der Vorwurf des Bruchs dieser Konvention durch ein NATO-Mitglied und einen Staat, der der EU beitreten will, ist so ungeheuerlich, dass eine Klärung der Vorfälle durch die OPCW unausweichlich ist. Ich habe Außenminister Westerwelle aufgefordert, dass Deutschland als ständiges Mitglied im Exekutivrat der OPCW eine Untersuchung der Vorgänge einfordert.
Auch wenn ein Bruch der völkerrechtlichen Verpflichtungen durch die Türkei nach meiner Einschätzung und Kenntnis unwahrscheinlich ist, sind die Vorwürfe so ungeheuerlich, dass ihre Aufklärung dringend erforderlich ist. Dies sollte auch und gerade im Interesse der Türkei sein, die mit einer Offenlegung der entsprechenden Obduktionsberichte einen wesentlichen Beitrag leisten muss.


Quelle : MESOP

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