الرئيسية » English Articles » Turkish Attacks on Civilian Kurds

Turkish Attacks on Civilian Kurds

We urge Turkish authorities to respect the territorial integrity of Iraq, to refrain from taking any military action that could undermine regional peace and stability, and to fulfill their international obligations to ensure respect for International law and International humanitarian law.
A joint campaign by Defend International and Mezopotamian Development Society.
Please copy the appeals at the end of this campaign, add your signature and address and send them to arrive as soon as possible.

Name: Several thousands of civilians
Age: Children and adults
Authorities: Turkish / Iraqi / Kurdish / USA
Category: Concern about the civilian’s safety, health and condition
The case:
According to the information received, on December 16, 2007 Turkish fighter jets launched air raids on areas of Qandil, Khunera, Busi, Vaschen, Basel, Jmjo and solid. They bombed a series of small villages, widely disbursed in the mentioned areas, some as much as 70 kilometers inside Kurdistan region in North Iraq. Turkish F-16s flattened the villages including schools.

After the initial air bombardment, they waited for civilians to return to their homes, and then they attacked again. Afterward Turkish Artillery started heavy attacks on Khwakurk area in Sidakan. The following villages were completely leveled: Kubton, Ramkon, Konezereh, Panjekhah, Lauge, Ashkolkha, Souradeh, Enzeh and Kalahtoukan.

Civilian’s condition – widespread destruction
The air attacks caused tremendous damages to civilian homes and property in 10 villages. Lots of people are homeless. Many civilians lost their lives, and many others are injured including children. Many animals are killed and 6 bridges between a local school and the villages are destroyed.

United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UHCR)
UNHCR is observing Kurdish Families Displacement. The commission Spokesman, Peter Qasler, “asserted that fugitives of the villages on border with Turkey are all civilian families including children and old people. For weeks, Iranian and Turkish attacks on Kurdistan Region villages in Iraq resulted in displacing hundreds of families”. Qasler expressed the International Organization’s concern about displacing Kurds as a result of the new Turkish attacks. UNHCR indicated that more than 1800 civilian were forced to leave everything behind and to flee. They need an urgent aid, especially with the beginning of winter season.

USA to supply Turkey with intelligence
Turkish officials have claimed that they had support from USA which opened northern Iraqi airspace after which Turkish planes bombed civilians. Turkey’s military chief, General Yasar Buyukanit, was quoted on Turkish television saying, “America gave [us] intelligence. But more importantly, America last night opened [the Iraqi] air space to us. By opening the air space, America gave its approval to this operation”. The US raised no public objections to the incursion by Turkey.

Iraqi government spokesman
Mr. Dabbagh said “these attacks are attacks on Iraq’s sovereignty”. Iraqi Kurdish officials from northern Iraq said on December 18, 2007 that Ankara had started withdrawing the troops, but Iraqi government spokesman said he did not know if the pull-out had yet been completed.

The situation now
Turkish troops crossed into north Iraq on December 18, 2007, and the Turkish army has voiced determination to continue cross-border operations in line with a parliamentary authorization in October that approved such incursions.
The troops had reached and are based in the villages of Khaya Rash, Bunwaq, Janarouq and Kelirosh.

Our Views:
Mezopotamian Development Society and Defend International express concern over the recent military actions undertaken by Turkey on Iraqi territory. The organizations condemn the Turkish Army’s attacks against unarmed civilians. The air strikes showed serious disrespect for Iraqi sovereignty and the safety and welfare of civilians in the region. The killing of civilians and the destruction of a series of small mountain villages – homes and property represent a gross violation of the Geneva conventions.

In addition these operations are in direct violation of international law, notably Article 2(4) Charter of the United Nations, which is a part of Customary International law, which is binding to all states, as well as Kellogg-Briand Pact, also known as the Pact of Paris after the city where it was signed on August 27, 1928.


International law
There are two separate prohibitions of the use of force in international law; the Kellogg-Briand Pact and Article 2(4) of the United Nations Charter. These are both legally valid prohibitions; United Nations Charter is binding on all states.

Article 2(4) Charter of the United Nations
As a part of Customary International Law the Charter of the United Nations is binding on all states. This effectively means that even if states disagree with it, all states are bound by what it contains. Importantly, this includes article 2(4) which states that:

“All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.”

Kellogg-Briand Pact
Turkey has deposited instruments of definitive adherence to the pact of Paris. This treaty agreed under Article I to renounce war as a solution to international controversies that might arise between them and under Article II mandated that pacific solutions must be found to all disputes.

Our Demands:
Defend International and Mezopotamian Development Society call on Iraq’s president, Iraq’s Prime Minister, the president of Kurdistan region in Iraq and the head of Kurdistan Regional government to provide protection for civilians Kurds and to urge the Turkish military immediately to stop the air strikes and all military intervention to the area.

The organizations urge the Turkish authorities to:
* Exercise restraint;
* Respect the territorial integrity of Iraq;
* Refrain from taking any military action that could undermine regional peace and stability; and
* Fulfill their international obligations to ensure respect for International law and International humanitarian law.


Defend International and Mezopotamian Development Society reiterates the importance of reinforcing dialogue. The organizations will continue to monitor the situation of civilians closely.

Our campaign:
Please copy the following appeals, add your signature and address and send them to arrive as soon as possible.
With thanks and appreciation

Defend International
www.defendinternational.org
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His Excellency George W. Bush – The president of the US
The White House
Washington, D.C. 20500
USA
Fax: + 202 456 2461
E-mail: president@whitehouse.gov


Your Excellency,

I am writing you to express my deepest concern over Turkish military actions inside Kurdistan region in Northern Iraq.
The killing of civilians and the destruction of villages – homes and property represent a gross violation of the Geneva conventions.
Turkish Army flattened a series of small villages ranging between 20 and 70 kilometers inside Iraq. The attacks against civilian Kurds are violent invasion of territory.

Turkey is bound by international law. The effect of Article 2(4) Charter of the United Nations is very simple. It makes it illegal under international law to use force against another state.
The 1970 Declaration on Principles of International Law describe the duty as one to avoid “military, political, economic or any other form of coercion aimed against the political independence or territorial integrity of any state.” It is clear that any form of punitive action is illegal. It is also important to note that it is not just the use of force that is prohibited, but the threat of force. This raises questions as to the legality of Turkey’s determination to continue its military cross-border operations.

Turkey stated that these raids were with consent of the United States and providing intelligence assistance and information to Turkey. If Turkey is telling the truth it is unacceptable that the United States, in charge of monitoring our airspace, authorized Turkey to bomb civilians.

I strongly condemn Turkish air strikes which were probably designed to terrorize the local Kurdish civilians. The principle that civilians must be protected lies at the heart of the International Law of Armed Conflict. I urge you to do everything necessary to protect civilian Kurds.

I urge you to call upon Turkish government to immediately end the military actions and use dialogue to solve the PKK issue. A continuous escalation of the conflict will cause more suffering to civilians in the region, which so far has been the stable part of Iraq.

Finally I urge you to ensure in all circumstances the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and with international and regional human rights instruments ratified by Turkey and Iraq.

I look for your urgent intervention into this matter.

Yours respectfully,




Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi
Office of the Speaker
H-232, US Capitol
Washington, DC 20515
USA
Fax: + 202 225 8259
E-mail:
sf.nancy@mail.house.gov
AmericanVoices@mail.house.gov


Dear Speaker Pelosi,

I am writing you to express my deepest concern over Turkish military actions inside Kurdistan region in Northern Iraq.
The killing of civilians and the destruction of villages – homes and property represent a gross violation of the Geneva conventions.
Turkish Army flattened a series of small villages ranging between 20 and 70 kilometers inside Iraq. The attacks against civilian Kurds are violent invasion of territory.

Turkey is bound by international law. The effect of Article 2(4) Charter of the United Nations is very simple. It makes it illegal under international law to use force against another state.
The 1970 Declaration on Principles of International Law describe the duty as one to avoid “military, political, economic or any other form of coercion aimed against the political independence or territorial integrity of any state.” It is clear that any form of punitive action is illegal. It is also important to note that it is not just the use of force that is prohibited, but the threat of force. This raises questions as to the legality of Turkey’s determination to continue its military cross-border operations.

Turkey stated that these raids were with consent of the United States and providing intelligence assistance and information to Turkey. If Turkey is telling the truth it is unacceptable that the United States, in charge of monitoring our airspace, authorized Turkey to bomb civilians.

I strongly condemn Turkish air strikes which were probably designed to terrorize the local Kurdish civilians. The principle that civilians must be protected lies at the heart of the International Law of Armed Conflict. I urge you to do everything necessary to protect civilian Kurds.

I urge you to call upon Turkish government to immediately end the military actions and use dialogue to solve the PKK issue. A continuous escalation of the conflict will cause more suffering to civilians in the region, which so far has been the stable part of Iraq.

Finally I urge you to ensure in all circumstances the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and with international and regional human rights instruments ratified by Turkey and Iraq.

I look for your urgent intervention into this matter.

Yours respectfully,




Council of Europe office
55, avenue Kléber
F – 75784 Paris Cedex 16
Paris
France
Fax: +33 (0)1 47 27 36 47


Dear members of Council of Europe,

I am writing you to express my deepest concern over Turkish military actions inside Kurdistan region in Northern Iraq.
The killing of civilians and the destruction of villages – homes and property represent a gross violation of the Geneva conventions.
Turkish Army flattened a series of small villages ranging between 20 and 70 kilometers inside Iraq. The attacks against civilian Kurds are violent invasion of territory.

Turkey is bound by international law. The effect of Article 2(4) Charter of the United Nations is very simple. It makes it illegal under international law to use force against another state.
The 1970 Declaration on Principles of International Law describe the duty as one to avoid “military, political, economic or any other form of coercion aimed against the political independence or territorial integrity of any state.” It is clear that any form of punitive action is illegal. It is also important to note that it is not just the use of force that is prohibited, but the threat of force. This raises questions as to the legality of Turkey’s determination to continue its military cross-border operations.

Turkey stated that these raids were with consent of the United States and providing intelligence assistance and information to Turkey. If Turkey is telling the truth it is unacceptable that the United States, in charge of monitoring our airspace, authorized Turkey to bomb civilians.

I strongly condemn Turkish air strikes which were probably designed to terrorize the local Kurdish civilians. The principle that civilians must be protected lies at the heart of the International Law of Armed Conflict. I urge you to do everything necessary to protect civilian Kurds.

I also reiterate that as a possible future EU member, Turkey must uphold to the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights. But Turkey, instead of granting Kurds minority rights in Turkey, is violating Kurdish civilian’s rights in North Iraq.

I urge you to call upon Turkish government to immediately end the military actions and use dialogue to solve the PKK issue. I call on the international community and all good forces to condemn strongly the military interventions in general and the recent air strikes and operations in particular. A continuous escalation of the conflict will cause more suffering to civilians in the region, which so far has been the stable part of Iraq.

Finally I urge you to ensure in all circumstances the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and with international and regional human rights instruments ratified by Turkey and Iraq.

I look for your urgent intervention into this matter.

Yours respectfully,




Council of Europe office
In Brussels (Liaison office with the EU)
12, avenue Tervuren
B – 1040 Brussels
Fax: +33 2 230 94 62



Dear members of Council of Europe,

I am writing you to express my deepest concern over Turkish military actions inside Kurdistan region in Northern Iraq.
The killing of civilians and the destruction of villages – homes and property represent a gross violation of the Geneva conventions.
Turkish Army flattened a series of small villages ranging between 20 and 70 kilometers inside Iraq. The attacks against civilian Kurds are violent invasion of territory.

Turkey is bound by international law. The effect of Article 2(4) Charter of the United Nations is very simple. It makes it illegal under international law to use force against another state.
The 1970 Declaration on Principles of International Law describe the duty as one to avoid “military, political, economic or any other form of coercion aimed against the political independence or territorial integrity of any state.” It is clear that any form of punitive action is illegal. It is also important to note that it is not just the use of force that is prohibited, but the threat of force. This raises questions as to the legality of Turkey’s determination to continue its military cross-border operations.

Turkey stated that these raids were with consent of the United States and providing intelligence assistance and information to Turkey. If Turkey is telling the truth it is unacceptable that the United States, in charge of monitoring our airspace, authorized Turkey to bomb civilians.

I strongly condemn Turkish air strikes which were probably designed to terrorize the local Kurdish civilians. The principle that civilians must be protected lies at the heart of the International Law of Armed Conflict. I urge you to do everything necessary to protect civilian Kurds.

I also reiterate that as a possible future EU member, Turkey must uphold to the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights. But Turkey, instead of granting Kurds minority rights in Turkey, is violating Kurdish civilian’s rights in North Iraq.

I urge you to call upon Turkish government to immediately end the military actions and use dialogue to solve the PKK issue. I call on the international community and all good forces to condemn strongly the military interventions in general and the recent air strikes and operations in particular. A continuous escalation of the conflict will cause more suffering to civilians in the region, which so far has been the stable part of Iraq.

Finally I urge you to ensure in all circumstances the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and with international and regional human rights instruments ratified by Turkey and Iraq.

I look for your urgent intervention into this matter.

Yours respectfully,




Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General
United Nations, S-378
New York, NY 10017
USA
Fax: 212-963-7055
Subject: Please forward to His Excellency Bab Ki-Moon


Dear Mr. Secretary-General,

I am writing you to express my deepest concern over Turkish military actions inside Kurdistan region in Northern Iraq.
The killing of civilians and the destruction of villages – homes and property represent a gross violation of the Geneva conventions.
Turkish Army flattened a series of small villages ranging between 20 and 70 kilometers inside Iraq. The attacks against civilian Kurds are violent invasion of territory.

Turkey is bound by international law. The effect of Article 2(4) Charter of the United Nations is very simple. It makes it illegal under international law to use force against another state.
The 1970 Declaration on Principles of International Law describe the duty as one to avoid “military, political, economic or any other form of coercion aimed against the political independence or territorial integrity of any state.” It is clear that any form of punitive action is illegal. It is also important to note that it is not just the use of force that is prohibited, but the threat of force. This raises questions as to the legality of Turkey’s determination to continue its military cross-border operations.

Turkey stated that these raids were with consent of the United States and providing intelligence assistance and information to Turkey. If Turkey is telling the truth it is unacceptable that the United States, in charge of monitoring our airspace, authorized Turkey to bomb civilians.

I strongly condemn Turkish air strikes which were probably designed to terrorize the local Kurdish civilians. The principle that civilians must be protected lies at the heart of the International Law of Armed Conflict. I urge you to do everything necessary to protect civilian Kurds.

I also reiterate that as a possible future EU member, Turkey must uphold to the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights. But Turkey, instead of granting Kurds minority rights in Turkey, is violating Kurdish civilian’s rights in North Iraq.

I urge you to call upon Turkish government to immediately end the military actions and use dialogue to solve the PKK issue. I call on the international community and all good forces to condemn strongly the military interventions in general and the recent air strikes and operations in particular. A continuous escalation of the conflict will cause more suffering to civilians in the region, which so far has been the stable part of Iraq.

Finally I urge you to ensure in all circumstances the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and with international and regional human rights instruments ratified by Turkey and Iraq.

I look for your urgent intervention into this matter.

Yours respectfully,




Embassy of Republic of Iraq – Norway
E-mail: oslemb@iraqmofamail.net
Subject: Please forward to His Excellency Jalal Talabani – The President of Iraq

Your Excellency,

I am writing you to express my deepest concern over Turkish military actions inside Kurdistan region in Northern Iraq.
The killing of civilians and the destruction of villages – homes and property represent a gross violation of the Geneva conventions.
Turkish Army flattened a series of small villages ranging between 20 and 70 kilometers inside Iraq. The attacks against civilian Kurds are violent invasion of territory.

Turkey is bound by international law. The effect of Article 2(4) Charter of the United Nations is very simple. It makes it illegal under international law to use force against another state.
The 1970 Declaration on Principles of International Law describe the duty as one to avoid “military, political, economic or any other form of coercion aimed against the political independence or territorial integrity of any state.” It is clear that any form of punitive action is illegal. It is also important to note that it is not just the use of force that is prohibited, but the threat of force. This raises questions as to the legality of Turkey’s determination to continue its military cross-border operations.

I strongly condemn Turkish air strikes which were probably designed to terrorize the local Kurdish civilians. The principle that civilians must be protected lies at the heart of the International Law of Armed Conflict. I urge you to do everything necessary to protect civilian Kurds.
There are 2.2 million civilians who fled out of Iraq and 2.4 million are internal displaced. Iraq doesn’t need more refugees.

I urge you also to urge the Turkish military immediately to stop the air strikes and all military intervention to the area. A continuous escalation of the conflict will cause more suffering to civilians in the region, which so far has been the stable part of Iraq.

Finally I urge you to ensure in all circumstances the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and with international and regional human rights instruments ratified by Turkey and Iraq.

I look for your urgent intervention into this matter.

Yours respectfully,


—-

Kurdish regional Government offices
The Kurdistan Regional Government in Erbil, Iraq
Link:
http://www.krg.org/contact.asp?lngnr=12&smap=01000000
Choose: Department of Foreign relations
Subject: Please forward to His Excellency president Masud Barzani


Your Excellency,

I am writing you to express my deepest concern over Turkish military actions inside Kurdistan region in Northern Iraq.
The killing of civilians and the destruction of villages – homes and property represent a gross violation of the Geneva conventions.
Turkish Army flattened a series of small villages ranging between 20 and 70 kilometers inside Iraq. The attacks against civilian Kurds are violent invasion of territory.

Turkey is bound by international law. The effect of Article 2(4) Charter of the United Nations is very simple. It makes it illegal under international law to use force against another state.
The 1970 Declaration on Principles of International Law describe the duty as one to avoid “military, political, economic or any other form of coercion aimed against the political independence or territorial integrity of any state.” It is clear that any form of punitive action is illegal. It is also important to note that it is not just the use of force that is prohibited, but the threat of force. This raises questions as to the legality of Turkey’s determination to continue its military cross-border operations.

I strongly condemn Turkish air strikes which were probably designed to terrorize the local Kurdish civilians. The principle that civilians must be protected lies at the heart of the International Law of Armed Conflict. I urge you to do everything necessary to protect civilian Kurds.

I urge you also to urge the Turkish military immediately to stop the air strikes and all military intervention to the area. A continuous escalation of the conflict will cause more suffering to civilians in the region, which so far has been the stable part of Iraq.

Finally I urge you to ensure in all circumstances the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and with international and regional human rights instruments ratified by Turkey and Iraq.

I look for your urgent intervention into this matter.

Yours respectfully,




Embassy of Republic of Iraq – Denmark
Granhøjen 18
2900 Hellerup
Denmark
Fax: + 45 39 40 69 97
E-mail: kbnemb@iraqmofamail.net
Subject: Please forward to His Excellency Nuri Kamil al-Maliki – Prime Minister of Iraq


Your Excellency,

I am writing you to express my deepest concern over Turkish military actions inside Kurdistan region in Northern Iraq.
The killing of civilians and the destruction of villages – homes and property represent a gross violation of the Geneva conventions.
Turkish Army flattened a series of small villages ranging between 20 and 70 kilometers inside Iraq. The attacks against civilian Kurds are violent invasion of territory.

Turkey is bound by international law. The effect of Article 2(4) Charter of the United Nations is very simple. It makes it illegal under international law to use force against another state.
The 1970 Declaration on Principles of International Law describe the duty as one to avoid “military, political, economic or any other form of coercion aimed against the political independence or territorial integrity of any state.” It is clear that any form of punitive action is illegal. It is also important to note that it is not just the use of force that is prohibited, but the threat of force. This raises questions as to the legality of Turkey’s determination to continue its military cross-border operations.

I strongly condemn Turkish air strikes which were probably designed to terrorize the local Kurdish civilians. The principle that civilians must be protected lies at the heart of the International Law of Armed Conflict. I urge you to do everything necessary to protect civilian Kurds.
There are 2.2 million civilians who fled out of Iraq and 2.4 million are internal displaced. Iraq doesn’t need more refugees.

I urge you also to urge the Turkish military immediately to stop the air strikes and all military intervention to the area. A continuous escalation of the conflict will cause more suffering to civilians in the region, which so far has been the stable part of Iraq.

Finally I urge you to ensure in all circumstances the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and with international and regional human rights instruments ratified by Turkey and Iraq.

I look for your urgent intervention into this matter.

Yours respectfully,


—-

Kurdish regional Government offices
The Kurdistan Regional Government in Arbil, Iraq
Link:
http://www.krg.org/contact.asp?lngnr=12&smap=01000000
Choose: Department of Foreign relations
Subject: Please forward to His Excellency Nechirvan Barzani – Prime Minister


Your Excellency,

I am writing you to express my deepest concern over Turkish military actions inside Kurdistan region in Northern Iraq.
The killing of civilians and the destruction of villages – homes and property represent a gross violation of the Geneva conventions.
Turkish Army flattened a series of small villages ranging between 20 and 70 kilometers inside Iraq. The attacks against civilian Kurds are violent invasion of territory.

Turkey is bound by international law. The effect of Article 2(4) Charter of the United Nations is very simple. It makes it illegal under international law to use force against another state.
The 1970 Declaration on Principles of International Law describe the duty as one to avoid “military, political, economic or any other form of coercion aimed against the political independence or territorial integrity of any state.” It is clear that any form of punitive action is illegal. It is also important to note that it is not just the use of force that is prohibited, but the threat of force. This raises questions as to the legality of Turkey’s determination to continue its military cross-border operations.

I strongly condemn Turkish air strikes which were probably designed to terrorize the local Kurdish civilians. The principle that civilians must be protected lies at the heart of the International Law of Armed Conflict. I urge you to do everything necessary to protect civilian Kurds.

I urge you also to urge the Turkish military immediately to stop the air strikes and all military intervention to the area. A continuous escalation of the conflict will cause more suffering to civilians in the region, which so far has been the stable part of Iraq.

Finally I urge you to ensure in all circumstances the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and with international and regional human rights instruments ratified by Turkey and Iraq.

I look for your urgent intervention into this matter.

Yours respectfully,




His Excellency Abdullah Gul
The President of the Republic of Turkey
Fax: + 90 312 427 1330
E-mail:
cumhurbaskanligi@tccb.gov.tr



Your Excellency,

I am writing you to express my deepest concern over Turkish military actions inside Kurdistan region in Northern Iraq.

I urge you to exercise restraint, to respect the territorial integrity of Iraq, to refrain from taking any military action that could undermine regional peace and stability, and to fulfill your international obligations to ensure respect for International law and International humanitarian law.
The killing of civilians and the destruction of villages – homes and property represent a gross violation of the Geneva conventions.
Turkish Army flattened a series of small villages ranging between 20 and 70 kilometers inside Iraq. The attacks against civilian Kurds are violent invasion of territory.

Turkey is bound by international law. The effect of Article 2(4) Charter of the United Nations is very simple. It makes it illegal under international law to use force against another state.
The 1970 Declaration on Principles of International Law describe the duty as one to avoid “military, political, economic or any other form of coercion aimed against the political independence or territorial integrity of any state.” It is clear that any form of punitive action is illegal. It is also important to note that it is not just the use of force that is prohibited, but the threat of force. This raises questions as to the legality of Turkey’s determination to continue its military cross-border operations.

I strongly condemn Turkish air strikes which were probably designed to terrorize the local Kurdish civilians. The principle that civilians must be protected lies at the heart of the International Law of Armed Conflict.

I urge you to stop immediately the air strikes and all military intervention to the area. A continuous escalation of the conflict will cause more suffering to civilians in the region, which so far has been the stable part of Iraq.

I reiterate that as a future EU member, Turkey must uphold to the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights.

Finally I urge you to ensure in all circumstances the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and with international and regional human rights instruments ratified by Turkey.

I look for your urgent intervention into this matter.

Yours respectfully,




His Excellency Recep Tayyip Erdogan
The Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey
Office of the Prime Minister
Başbakanlık
06573 Ankara
Turkey
Fax: + 90 312 417 0476
Email:
tayyiperdogan@rterdogan.com
rte@akparti.org.tr


Your Excellency,

I am writing you to express my deepest concern over Turkish military actions inside Kurdistan region in Northern Iraq.

I urge you to exercise restraint, to respect the territorial integrity of Iraq, to refrain from taking any military action that could undermine regional peace and stability, and to fulfill your international obligations to ensure respect for International law and International humanitarian law.
The killing of civilians and the destruction of villages – homes and property represent a gross violation of the Geneva conventions.
Turkish Army flattened a series of small villages ranging between 20 and 70 kilometers inside Iraq. The attacks against civilian Kurds are violent invasion of territory.

Turkey is bound by international law. The effect of Article 2(4) Charter of the United Nations is very simple. It makes it illegal under international law to use force against another state.
The 1970 Declaration on Principles of International Law describe the duty as one to avoid “military, political, economic or any other form of coercion aimed against the political independence or territorial integrity of any state.” It is clear that any form of punitive action is illegal. It is also important to note that it is not just the use of force that is prohibited, but the threat of force. This raises questions as to the legality of Turkey’s determination to continue its military cross-border operations.

I strongly condemn Turkish air strikes which were probably designed to terrorize the local Kurdish civilians. The principle that civilians must be protected lies at the heart of the International Law of Armed Conflict.

I urge you to stop immediately the air strikes and all military intervention to the area. A continuous escalation of the conflict will cause more suffering to civilians in the region, which so far has been the stable part of Iraq.

I reiterate that as a future EU member, Turkey must uphold to the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights.

Finally I urge you to ensure in all circumstances the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and with international and regional human rights instruments ratified by Turkey.

I look for your urgent intervention into this matter.

Yours respectfully,