Turkey's AKP to set up special commission over unsolved murders

Turkish opposition claims 116 unsolved murders were committed in east and southeast Turkey during the AK Party's term in office.

Turkey's AKP to set up special commission over unsolved murders

World Bulletin / News Desk

With the June 12 general elections approaching, the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) has become alarmed by allegations put forth by the Republican People's Party (CHP) and the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) that dozens of unsolved murders took place during the ruling party's eight years in power.

The AK Party believes no single unsolved murder was committed during the past eight years, while CHP Deputy Chairman Sezgin Tanrıkulu claims 116 unsolved murders were committed in east and southeast Turkey during the AK Party's term in office.

The ruling party lashed out at the allegations. Speaking to Cihan news agency, AK Party parliamentary group deputy chairman Bekir Bozdağ said the CHP and the BDP are using deaths that resulted from the country's fight against terrorism as murders by unknown assailants.

While Tanrıkulu claims that 367 people had died as a result of extrajudicial execution, disobeying stop warnings and random gunshots, he also said 370 were killed while in detention or prison, also recalling that a proposal they submitted to investigate unsolved murders was not accepted by the AK Party. The BDP members delivered similar statements during parliamentary discussions over the approval of a United Nations protocol on cruel and inhumane treatment and punishment.

In the face of these allegations, the AK Party argues that many unsolved murders had been committed during the terms of the CHP and has assembled a research team, which began to investigate reports of unidentified murders and when they took place.

After the team completes its research, AK Party members will take action in Parliament after the June 12 elections to investigate the unsolved murders. AK Party officials recall that a parliamentary commission set up to look into unidentified murders led by Sadık Avundukluoğlu was formed in 1995; however, the report prepared by the commission was ineffective because it did not have any sanction power. The AK Party intends to establish special commissions for each unsolved murder instead of forming one commission for all such murders. Separate reports will be prepared for each unsolved murder.

A similar decision was recently made with regard to a sub-commission of the parliamentary Human Rights Commission for missing persons. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan decided to launch a special investigation concerning the case of Cemil Kırbayır, who went missing after the 1980 military coup while in detention. His mother, 103-year-old Berfo Kırbayır, brought the issue to Parliament's attention on Feb. 7 during a meeting with Erdoğan and the Saturday Mothers, an advocacy group that meets every week in İstanbul's Galatasaray Square to find justice for forced disappearances in Turkey. Kırbayır appealed to the prime minister to help her find out more about her son's disappearance.

AK Party officials also note that for the commission to have sanction power, Parliament's bylaws must be changed. Officials will attempt to overcome another obstacle to solve unidentified murders -- "state secrets." The General Staff, the National Police Department and the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) will be obliged to deliver all information and documents the commissions demand.

As part of the fight against PKK, 4,361 soldiers, 217 police officers, 1,378 village guards, 116 teachers and 5,669 citizens were killed by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) between 1984 and 2010, while 29,359 PKK militants were killed. According to the parliamentary commission established in 1995, there were 908 unidentified murders between 1975 and 1994.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 25 Şubat 2011, 16:50