Posts Tagged ‘Turkey’

Jihad Syria: Turkey, Saudi-Arabia and US

december 6, 2013

‘Signs are increasing that Ankara is gradually, albeit somewhat reluctantly, giving up its support for the radical Islamist group known as Jabhat al-Nusra, which it once promoted as the most effective force in Syria againts Bashar al-Assa.’

Crackdown on peaceful protesters in Istanbul: Noam Chomsky

juni 3, 2013


Outspoken American linguist and political philosopher Noam Chomsky has condemned the brutal police crackdown on protesters denouncing the demolition of Taksim Gezi Park, saying it recalled “the most shameful moments of Turkish history.”

“I would like to join Amnesty International and others who defend basic human rights in condemning the brutal measures of the state authorities in response to the peaceful protests in Taksim in Central Istanbul,” Chomsky said in a written statement June 1.

“The reports of the past few days are reminiscent of some of the most shameful moments of Turkish history, which, it seemed, had been relegated to the past during the progress of the past years that has been welcomed and praised by all of us who wish the best for Turkey and its people,” he added.

The Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality had planned to replace the little green patch surrounded by multi-storey hotels with a reproduction of the Artillery Barracks (“Topçu Kışlası”) that used to occupy the sight. According to the project revealed by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the barracks would be converted into a shopping mall and could also serve as a residence with social facilities.

However, the plans stirred huge debate among Istanbul locals, who objected to the conversion of one of the last green areas at the heart of the city into yet another shopping mall.

Chemical weapons for Syrian ‘opposition’ may have come from Turkey

mei 15, 2013


Turkish media reports that recently (2011) in fact the Turkish army used Napalm or most of all phosphor related substances in their fight against the PKK guerilla. In other words so called thermal weapons which are not banned by any international treaty (unless you target civilians) – even if they are really inhuman.

To clear up the confusion about thermal bombs and banned chemical weapons read our Document about “The Turkish army and their  use of Chemical weapons”.

Christopher Milroy, a professor of forensic pathology in the UK, went to the Kurdish region of Turkey in the early nineties to investigate use of chemical weapons. Here is an excerpt from an article he published, A secret and dirty war, in the British Medical Journal from July 1994:

The Turkish authorities refused permission to examine the area where the alleged use of napalm took place. The area had been sealed off and the bodies of the victims had been buried in a mass grave, which had subsequently been concreted over. Nevertheless, a few relatives had been able to identify the victims from clothing or distinct features and removed the bodies for proper Islamic burial. All the bodies were described as severely burnt, without bullet wounds. We believed that the examination of the bodies would probably be obstructed, but hoped to interview relatives to obtain descriptions of the injuries. In Ankara we met human rights workers and then travelled to Kurdistan. We had already been told that arrest warrants had been issued against doctors, lawyers, and other human rights workers who had intended to accompany us.

After a couple paragraphs describing how he and his team were harassed by police and security forces, Milroy continues with his accounts of interviews with family members.

The next day we drove to Adiyaman, where we interviewed another relative of one of the victims. His description was again of bodies so charred that there were no recognisable features to permit a visual identification. No bullet wounds were present. While we were talking to him we were told that a man who was going to try and collect samples from the bodies in a local village had been arrested by the Turkish authorities, along with his entire family. The last information I received was that they were still in prison.

Because of the harassment we were unable to conduct the examinations, though the descriptions given were consistent with the use of napalm. A case has been presented before the European Commission of Human Rights.

Based on Milroy’s description and what little information was published in the Spiegel Online’s article, one can assume that either napalm or white phosphorous were used. Both agents cause severe burning, often to the bone.

In 1999 a ZDF (Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen, a German public-service television station) television report alleged chemical weapons use against the PKK, citing an unnamed member of a Turkish military special unit. ZDF said that in May of that year, a Turkish source told them he had taken part in operations against the PKK in which an unidentified chemical weapon had been used against insurgents hiding in caves.

‘Everyone in there was gassed—it was absolutely certain that nobody survived,’ said the Turkish military source as quoted by ZDF. Amnesty International, which was called in by ZDF to evaluate the military source, described him as ‘all-around credible.’

German Defence Ministry spokesperson at the time, Dieter Puhl, called the report ‘totally false and misleading.’ It is important to note that during that time period, the German government was supplying Turkey with chemical weapons test laboratories. The Defence Ministry said the labs would serve only to ‘protect soldiers and the civilian population.’

In October 1999, Turkish Foreign Ministry deputy spokesperson, Sermet Atacanli, referring to the ZDF programme, said that ‘Turkey assumed the obligation not to develop, produce, store, or use chemical weapons, and meticulously abides by the relevant agreement.’

In August of 2000, Turkish military forces entered what was then called the ‘Northern NFZ’. The northern no-fly zone extended up from the 36th parallel and formed what was supposed to be a protected zone for the Kurdish population there. In the course of the air raids on 15 and 17 August chemical weapons and napalm were allegedly used. Ankara’s official line was that the raids were directed exclusively at PKK targets. Regardless of the official line, many civilians, including women and children, were killed.

Turkish helicopter bombardment

This was an area designated for the ‘protection of the Kurdish civilian population in the north of Iraq.’ Yet the US Embassy in Ankara did not condemn the attack. A spokesperson said: ‘There is information in the reports concerning the use of chemical weapons. But I will not appraise the incident or give detailed information.’ The information he did give was: ‘The US in general defends the rights of the Turkish government against PKK terrorists in northern Iraq.’ How can you defend the use of chemical weapons?

In 2006 14 members of the PKK were killed in a large-scale offensive by the Turkish army after Newroz. Chemical weapons use was suspected in the operation. Subsequently, protests erupted following the funeral for the 14 PKK members. Days of violence ensued in Diyarbakir and nearby cities and towns.

In August 2007 the DTP reported that chemical weapons were used against a group of 11 PKK fighters in ?irnex.

In December 2007 the Turkish Armed Forces bombarded an area in the Qandil mountains. Shortly thereafter almost 200 goats died after grazing in the area where the bombardment took place. A detailed lab analysis of the goat milk detected poison.

A March 2008 report in the Kurdish Globe again mentions chemical weapons use in the Qandil mountain area. Several PKK fighters were seriously wounded by ‘weapons mixed with chemicals; blood flowed from their ears, eyes, and noses.’ These symptoms are not indicative of the napalm or WP that was most likely used in other attacks, but were nonetheless a direct result of illegal toxins used by the Turkish military.

Preliminary examinations by the Kurdistan Ministry of the Environment showed that Turkey used banned weapons. A delegation from Iraq’s council of representatives also declared that Turkish troops had used chemical weapons.

The Kurdistan Ministry of Health organised a medical team to investigate the affected locations and victims’ health. Some affected families were taken to Hewlêr for further medical testing.

One important question is whether or not there is an official sanction by the Turkish government to use chemical and/or biological weapons in its counter-terrorism efforts.

On 23 July 1989, the Turkish newspaper ?kibine Do?ru published an article on chemical weapons use. The article spoke of a secret security directive by the Turkish Armed Forces permitting the use of such agents as part of the government effort to combat Kurdish fighters.

According to the directive, which was issued on 25 February 1986 and signed by Necdet Öztorun, who was at the time commander of the Turkish Army, various methods were deemed permissible to destroy tunnels, including: filling the tunnels with poison gas, and rendering them unusable by introducing a specially bred poisonous insects.

In another section of the directive, it makes mention of the permitted use of gas bombs and NBC (nuclear, biological, and chemical) weapons, such as fire making substances, and tear and emetic gas.

The Turkish government did not explicitly deny the existence of the directive, however, questions remain as to its authenticity.

Regardless of whether or not the directive is authentic, there is overwhelming evidence (though some will insist that it is only circumstantial) that the Turkish government and its armed forces routinely use chemical weapons against the PKK and Kurdish civilians. They have been doing it for decades and will continue to do so with impunity.  The above examples are only a partial account of what has been happening. So why is no one mounting a full-scale investigation of these atrocities? Perhaps the Spiegel Online story will spark some response. It is doubtful however that it will come from the Europeans or the Americans.

Does no one care that a member of NATO, a country that is seeking admission to the EU, is flagrantly violating international law within its borders and beyond? With chemical weapons! Has the ‘global war on terror’ become no more than a licence to kill for governments in Washington’s exclusive terror club? Apparently, and sadly, so.


Kurdish radio invites reporters to see victims of Turkey’s chemical attack. IRNA News Agency, 21 May 1999. BBC Summary of World Broadcasts.

Chemical weapons test lab for Turkey from German military. Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 27 October 1999.

Turkish spokesman denies manufacture, use of chemical weapons. Anatolia news agency, 28 October 1999. Supplied by BBC Worldwide Monitoring.

Leicht, Justus. Turkish army kills Kurdish civilians in north Iraq. World Socialist Web Site, 30 August 2000.

Milroy, CM. A secret and dirty war. BMJ 1994;309:135 (9 July).

Turkey denies use of chemical weapons in operations against ‘terrorists’. Supplied by BBC Worldwide Monitoring. 30 March 2006.

Leicht, Justus. Turkey: Twelve dead and hundreds injured in Kurdish protests. Bella Ciao, 07 April 2006

Turkish Kurdish party accuses Turkey of using chemical weapons. Aso, 29 November 2006. Supplied by BBC Worldwide Monitoring.

Pro-Kurdish party says army used chemical weapons in fighting Kurds. Supplied by BBC Worldwide Monitoring, 30 August 2007.

Suspected chemical weapons used in Turkish incursions. The Kurdish Globe, 01 March 2008.

Suspicion of Chemical Weapons in Turkish Bombardment. Rastî Blog, 02 April 2008.

Steinvorth, Daniel and Yassin Musharbash. Turkey Accused of Using Chemical Weapons against PKK. Spiegel Online, 12 August 2010.

Exerpts : Kurdish commentary 2011…

Photo: a victim of chemical weapons (napalm or white phosphorous)


Vietnam: victims of agent orange in wheelchairs


Turkey and the Iraqi Kurds: oil

mei 15, 2013


May 15, 2013

Turkish state oil company Turkish Petroleum (TPAO) is partnering with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and Exxon Mobil to carry out oil exploration in northern Iraq, Turkey’s prime minister said on Tuesday, taking Turkey’s cooperation with Iraqi Kurds on energy one step further.

Exxon, a global oil company based in Texas, was the first to sign up for exploration deals with the KRG. Others including Chevron, Total and Russia’s Gazprom Neft have followed.

Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan said an agreement was in place for a Turkish company to become a partner with Exxon and the KRG and that details would be clearer after his U.S. visit.

“Our oil company already has an agreement with Exxon Mobil in place … This is a step with the KRG on exploration work,” Erdoğan told reporters at Ankara airport before heading to the United States for an official visit. He is due to meet U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday.

Until now, resource-hungry Turkey has been a customer and a transportation outlet for oil exports from the Kurdish region. With this agreement, the Turks would play an active role in exploiting Iraqi Kurdistan’s rich hydrocarbon resources.

U.S., Turkey: no-fly zone Syria

augustus 12, 2012


ALEPPO, Syria (Reuters) – The United States and Turkey indicated they were studying a range of possible measures over Syria, including a no-fly zone, as battles between rebels and President Bashar al-Assad’s forces shook Aleppo and the heart of Damascus.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said after meeting her Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu in Istanbul on Saturday that Washington and Ankara should develop detailed operational planning on ways to assist their armed gangs fighting to topple Assad.

“Our intelligence services, our military have very important responsibilities and roles to play so we are going to be setting up a working group to do exactly that,” she said.

Asked about options such as imposing a ‘no-fly zone’ over the territory  of the with weapons and western technoly  supported gangs, Clinton said these were ‘possibilities’…

Photo:  Erdogan, friend of the U.S. and Israel.

Syria: US sets up teams with Israel, Jordan, Turkey against chemical attack

augustus 12, 2012


The United States last week began laying plans for the contingency of Syrian chemical warfare by setting up joint military, intelligence and medical working teams with Israel, Turkey and Jordan, all of which are feared under threat by Syrian president Bashar Assad, debkafile’s military sources report.

DEBKAfile, August 12, 2012

Photo: A baby in Tu Du Hospital suffering from the consequences of Agent Orange being dropped on Vietnam 30 years ago.


Victims of American chemical weapons

As the United States is the most advanced industrial nation in world it was able to make full use of the latest developments in technology in its war against North Vietnam. B-52 bombers, that could fly at heights that prevented them being seen or heard, dropped 8 million tons of bombs on Vietnam between 1965 and 1973. This was over three times the amount of bombs dropped throughout the whole of the Second World War and worked out at approximately 300 tons for every man, woman and child living in Vietnam.

As well as explosive bombs the United States Air Force dropped a considerable number of incendiary devices. The most infamous of these was napalm, a mixture of petrol and a chemical thickner which produces a tough sticky gel that attaches itself to the skin. The igniting agent, white phosphorus, continues burning for a considerable amount of time. A reported three quarters of all napalm victims in Vietnam were burned through to the muscle and bone (fifth degree burns). The pain caused by the burning is so traumatic that it often causes death.

The US also made considerable use of anti-personnel bombs. The pineapple bomb was made up of 250 metal pellets inside a small canister. Gloria Emerson, a reporter in Vietnam, witnessed their use: “An American plane could drop a thousand pineapples over an area the size of four football fields. In a single air strike two hundred and fifty thousand pellets were spewed in a horizontal pattern over the land below, hitting everything on the ground.”

The United States also experimented with the use of plastic rather than metal needles and pellets in their antipersonnel bombs. The advantage of plastic was they could not be identified by X-Ray machines. Dropped on highly populated areas, antipersonnel bombs could severely disrupt the functioning of North Vietnam. It has been claimed that the major objective of the US bombing raids on North Vietnam was not to kill its 17 million population but to maim them. As was pointed out at the time, serious injury is more disruptive than death as people have to be employed to look after the injured where they only have to bury the dead.

One of the major problems of the US forces was the detection of the National Liberation Front hiding in the forests of Vietnam. In 1962, President John F. Kennedy approved Operation Ranch Hand. This involved the spraying of chemicals from the air in an attempt to destroy the National Liberation Front hiding places. In 1969 alone, Operation Ranch Hand destroyed 1,034,300 hectares of forest. Agent Orange, the chemical used in this defoliation programme not only destroyed trees but caused chromosomal damage in people.

Chemicals were also sprayed on crops. Between 1962 and 1969, 688,000 agricultural acres were sprayed with a chemical called Agent Blue. The aim of this exercise was to deny food to the NLF. However, research suggests that it was the civilian population who suffered most from the poor rice harvests that followed the spraying.

When a report appeared in the St. Louis Dispatch about the dropping of “poison” on North Vietnam the United States denied the herbicide they were using was a chemical weapon. It was claimed that Agent Orange and Agent Blue were harmless to humans and only had a short-lived impact on the environment.

This was disputed by international experts and 5,000 American scientists, including 17 Nobel prize winners and 129 members of the Academy of Sciences, signed a petition against chemical and biological weapons being used in Vietnam. However, it was not until 1974 that the United States government stopped using Agent Orange and Agent Blue.

During the war about 10% of Vietnam was intensively sprayed with 72 million litres of chemicals, of which 66% was Agent Orange. Some of this landed on their own troops and soon after the war ended veterans began complaining about serious health problems. There was also a high incidence of their children being born limbless or with Down’s syndrome and spina bifida. The veterans sued the defoliant manufacturers and this was settled out of court in 1984 by the payment of $180 million.

The TCCD dioxin used in Agent Orange seeped into the soil and water supply, and therefore into the food chain. In this way it passed from mother to foetus in the womb. In Vietnam the dioxide remains in the soil and is now damaging the health of the grandchildren of the war’s victims.

A report published in 2003 claimed that 650,000 people in Vietnam were still suffering from chronic conditions as a result of the chemicals dropped on the country during the war. Since the war the Vietnamese Red Cross has registered an estimated one million people disabled by Agent Orange. It is estimated that 500,000 people in Vietnam have died from the numerous health problems created by these chemical weapons.