World Bulletin / News Desk
The Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor's Office on Thursday ruled out the possibility of initiating legal proceedings against the president and prime minister, against whom a deputy earlier filed a criminal complaint over an airstrike that led to the deaths of 34 civilians in Şırnak province.
Republican People's Party (CHP) İstanbul deputy Mahmut Tanal, also a member of the parliamentary Human Rights Commission, filed a criminal complaint on May 18 against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President Abdullah Gül and Chief of General Staff Gen. Necdet Özel, accusing them of bearing responsibility for an incident in which 34 civilians mistaken for terrorists were killed on the Turkish-Iraqi border near Uludere last December. Tanal claimed they had committed a crime against humanity.
The US officials who provided intelligence ahead of the airstrike, and Turkish military and civilian officials who supplied intelligence and issued the order for the strike should also be prosecuted, Tanal said.
The prosecutor's office said in its ruling that it does not have the authority to prosecute Gül and Erdoğan.
In a written statement released following the ruling, Tanal said the Ankara Prosecutor's Office had requested all documents concerning the involvement of the Turkish military and civilian officials who supplied the intelligence, Özel and the US officials who provided intelligence in the Uludere incident.
An arrest warrant for the four was also withdrawn, Gulden Sonmez, a lawyer for the victims, wrote on Twitter after a closed door hearing in Istanbul.
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