World Bulletin / News Desk
The National Intelligence Organization (MİT) did not provide any intelligence ahead of an air strike by Turkish military jets that led to the death of 34 civilians in Uludere, Hakkari province, near the Turkish border with Iraq, according to the findings of a parliamentary commission investigating what went wrong on the day of the attack.
The air strike took place on Dec. 28, 2011. Smugglers from Uludere were crossing the border back into Turkey after a day of trading with Iraq using their usual routes, tolerated by the security officials in the area. The General Staff initially said the smugglers were mistaken for Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militants, but footage from unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and witness accounts have failed to provide evidence for that claim, with many experts saying that it is quite obvious the smugglers, walking in single-file with their mules with loaded saddles, are unarmed border crossers.
The parliamentary Human Rights Investigation Commission, which is conducting its own probe into the incident, last week started reviewing the documents sent to it by the Diyarbakır Prosecutor's Office. Members of the commission say the documents the prosecution has collected during the course of the investigation do not include any information about the possible source of the intelligence that misled the jets to bomb the area the smugglers passed through. MİT also sent a document saying it had no role in providing any intelligence for the attack and that MİT officials found out about the attack the day after it took place. The prosecutor's office cannot make the documents public as they include sensitive information in terms of national security.
The Uludere subcommittee of the commission is still reviewing five folders of documents sent from the Diyarbakır Prosecutor's Office. There are about 300 documents sent to the prosecutors by the General Staff, the 2nd Army Command, the 23rd Gendarmerie Division Command, the 22nd Brigade Command and the Ministry of Defense.
MİT, in a two-page document addressed to the prosecutor's office, said it had provided intelligence regarding irregular movements in the region in early December, but noted that this information had lost its validity by Dec. 28, the day of the air strike.
Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) Mersin deputy Ertuğrul Kürkçü on Wednesday told journalists that MİT clearly stated that it shared no information regarding any leaks into Turkey from terrorist bases on or around Dec. 28.
“There is absolutely no information in the documents sent by the prosecutor's office that can answer the question of who provided intelligence for the attack,” he added.
The General Staff responded to a query from the prosecutor's office by saying Heron UAVs were recording images of the region at the time. Later, Predator drones flew nearer to the area, staying in the zone for about 15 minutes before leaving.
In 2014, Turkey’s electricity imports have risen due to lower than expected rains in winter and spring, and as a result hydropower plants did not meet their goal of providing a quarter of Turkey's electricity.
The number of publications in Kurdish has increased to 413 in the last year from 101 publications in 2008, statistics show.
The 1915 events took place during World War I, when a portion of the Armenian population living in the Ottoman Empire sided with the invading Russians and rose up against the Ottoman authority. The uprisings were followed by a decision by the Ottoman Empire to relocate the Armenians living in eastern Anatolia.
Turkish dailies on Thursday are covering Turkish PM's paying tribute to Armenians who died in 1915.
Turkey has called for the research of the 1915 events to be carried out by a commission of Turkish, Armenian and international historians, the Turkish Prime Ministry said in a statement earlier on Wednesday ahead of the anniversary of the events.
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan offered what the government said were unprecedented condolences to the grandchildren of Armenians killed in World War One
Convoy bound for Suleiman Shah Tomb in Turkish territory is planned activity, says military chief
AK Party Spokesman Celik still debating whether new election system will be a single member or narrowed district.
Turkish police say they plan to deport 135 illegal immigrants, including 120 Pakistanis.
Turkey condemned the forceful removal of the Ukrainian flag in the Crimean Tatar Mejlis by a group with unmarked military uniforms.
Turkey is looking good to potential investors according to visitors to the Borsa Istanbul forum in New York.
Turkey's President Gul calls for further cooperation with New Zealand on economy and commerce as he hosts New Zealand Governor-General Mateparae.
Former ministers will attend parliamentary debate corruption inquiry.
"The people do not want to see protesters clashing with police in the street. The people don't want streets scenes dominated by stones, sticks and Molotov cocktails" Erdogan said
Energy Minister Taner Yildiz will open the fair, and International Energy Agency Chief Economist Fatih Birol will deliver a speech during the opening ceremony.
Country faces challenge of aging population, according to TurkStat report.