Roboski massacre will haunt Erdoğan until truth is revealed
26 May 2012A new report by AKP deputies on consequences of massacre and the attempts of the PM to cover up the slaughter
The government must thoroughly explain last year’s botched air raid in Uludere if it does not want to lose support in Southeast Anatolia, ruling party lawmakers have said following a fact-finding mission to the region amid unprecedented controversy over the raid prompted by comments by the interior minister.
In a fact-finding mission compiled by some twenty ruling AKP (Justice and Development Party) deputies, it is said that the government risked its credibility among the Kurdish community if it failed to explain how 34 civilians were killed in the raid at the Iraqi border last December. According to a report by Hurriyet Daily News the report states that "The Uludere incident is a sincerity test for the government. Five months have passed, but the incident has yet to be explained. This has caused great anxiety and concern among people of the region. The protraction of the process carries the risk of turning into mistrust among Kurds against the government. Those responsible should be found and brought to justice. This is the primary demand of the people in the region". The report has been submitted, says Hurriyet to the AKP leadership.
Further controversy was sparked on 23 May by Interior Minister İdris Naim Şahin, who suggested, in a television program, that the 34 slain smugglers were criminals and described them as pawns of the PKK.
Prime Minister Erdoğan has basically remained silent about the massacre, and after Şahin's remark asked AKP members to end public statements on the issue. Indeed the PM hoped to end the matter by stating (6 months after the massacre) that "We’ve said from the outset that a mistake could have been made, but we also said that the region was an area of terrorist activity. No one should try to legitimize the smuggling business at the border". But the matter is far from closed, because no government can hope to cover up the massacre of 34 unarmed civilians. Nor can the Prime Minister hope that allocating "compensations higher than they were supposed to be" will be enough to shut people's mouth up. These are families who have lost their children (most of the people slaughtered by Turkish war planes were indeed in their teens).
Erdoğan added that "Our wives went there to visit the families. It is obvious that the steps taken so far have amounted to an apology". But no, it is not an apology, it is once again an attempt to cover up the massacre, by pouring money into a grieved community in an attempt to buy their silence. But as the families of Robosky have made clear, no compensation could replace a human life. They ask for justice.
Erdoğan answered to the request for justice by "asking everybody, including the media, to not manipulate this issue. That’s all I have to say. And there will be no other comments from my [party] group from now on".
The massacre of Roboski won't fade away, no matter what the Prime Minister will do to get things his way. The families of the 34 victims will continue to ask for justice, with the support from the BDP and the wider Kurdish (and some section of the international community) community.
They ask for the one thing the PM should have delivered, was he really honest, from the beginning: justice. But justice can only comes with truth. The very thing Erdoğan does not want and is trying to cover up. Truth though, will eventually make its way on the surface.
N. C. - ANF / ANKARA
ANF NEWS AGENCY