Our Statements

october 27, 2022

Everybody Needs to Take Action Against the Chemical Weapons Attacks!

After the HPG recently announced that 17 guerrillas were massacred with chemical weapons in Zap, Metina and Avaşin and published certain documents proving this, the use of chemical weapons by the occupying Turkish army against the guerrilla has been put on the public agenda and has thus become discussed publicly. As a result, a number of sensitive personalities and democratic institutions have started to take an interest in the issue and have expressed their stance on the matter. Among them was the President of the Turkish Medical Association, Şebnem Korur Fincancı. Listening to the voice of conscience and truth, TMA President Fincancı stated that the published documents were serious and that the Turkish army had used chemical weapons against the guerrilla. However, the fascist AKP-MHP government, which commits these crimes against humanity, panicked in the face of the revelations and decided to go after those who put the issue on the agenda. Şebnem Korur Fincancı was targeted and detained as a result. The detention of members of the free press is also connected to the attempt to prevent the exposure of the crimes and corruption committed by the AKP-MHP, especially the use of chemical weapons. However, the fascist AKP-MHP government, which has been caught red-handed, cannot cover up the crimes against humanity it has committed through its oppression and attempts to silence everybody. Ever since the beginning, the fascist AKP-MHP government and the occupying Turkish army have used chemical weapons in their war against the guerrilla forces. This has been amply documented. As the Kurdistan Freedom Movement, we have repeatedly stated that the occupying Turkish army has used chemical weapons against the guerrilla. We have also said that everybody needs to be sensitive with regards to this situation. However, the issue at hand has not yet been put on the agenda as much as it should have been. Although some sensitive circles have shown interest in our statements and calls, expressed their stance and tried to send delegations to the battlefield, this issue has so far not been on the agenda enough which is why the war crimes of the AKP-MHP’s have not been exposed. The delegations that came to South Kurdistan [North Iraq] in order to go to the battlefield were prevented by the KDP. Subsequently, the People’s Defense Central Headquarters Command recently published some of the documents it had on the use of chemical weapons.

The panicking and angry denial of the fascist AKP-MHP government and its collaborators regarding the use of chemical weapons is an attempt to hide the truth and the result of a psychology of guilt. The fact that the fascist army officials say that there are no chemical weapons in their inventory also serves the purpose of concealing the truth. Neither the Kurdish people nor the democratic institutions and circles believe this. The Iraqi state claimed not to have any chemical weapons in its inventory either, and when the US invaded Iraq, they did not find any chemical weapons. But Saddam Hussein’s regime used chemical weapons in Halabja. Therefore, the statements of the fascist and occupying army officials have no value. The Kurdish people know very well the crimes against humanity that the genocidal colonialist Turkish state has committed because they have experienced this reality themselves. This is not the first time the genocidal colonialist Turkish state and its occupying army have used chemical weapons against the Kurds. The Turkish state has resorted to all kinds of dirty and immoral methods, including the use of chemical weapons, and has committed crimes against humanity in its war against the Kurds for a long time. As a result of the confessions made by those who carried out massacres with chemical weapons, this fact has become known not only to the Kurdish people but to everyone else as well. All of the related documents are known to the public. In this respect, it is necessary to approach the Turkish state and its army on the basis of this historical consciousness.

Throughout its history, the Turkish state has used chemical weapons in many massacres against the Kurds and has not tried to hide this fact. One of the most well-know places where massacres were carried out with chemical weapons is Dersim. In the 1938 campaign against Dersim, chemical weapons were used to carry out a genocide against the Kurds. Thus, a great crime against humanity was committed. In Dersim, those who escaped the massacre and took refuge in the mountains and caves were gassed with chemical gas and thus massacred in the caves. The bones of those massacred with chemical weapons were later found there. The people who committed massacres with chemical weapons in Dersim clearly stated this later. The Turkish state also used chemical weapons in the massacres in Ararat and the Zilan Creek. Since the use of chemical weapons was not banned at that time, the genocidal colonialist Turkish state did not hide this and did not hesitate to take responsibility for it. The Turkish state’s only effort was to find a justification for its massacres which is why it pointed at the Kurdish rebellion.

Today, since the use of chemical weapons is considered as a crime against humanity all over the world and a harsh attitude is taken against those who make use of these weapons, the fascist AKP-MHP government resorts to hiding the use of chemical weapons. Those who reveal this and express their opinion on this issue are targeted and silenced by the AKP-MHP. They attempt to silence those who speak the truth by emphasizing the importance of state, nation and homeland and by fueling a nationalist hysteria. Therefore, it is necessary to strengthen the voices of truth and to protect those who speak the truth. Just being human is reason enough to stand against this crime against humanity. It is absurd to talk about the humanity of those who do not take this kind of stance. To date, not only 17 friends but more than 80 freedom fighters have been killed by chemical weapons during the one-year-long war. The occupying Turkish army has also used chemical weapons in [the South Kurdish areas] Werxelê and Tepê Sor. The HPG has made all this public and has provided information on the nature, colors and effects of the weapons used. When this information is taken into consideration, the extent of the crimes against humanity will be better understood. Therefore, the statements of denial made by the fascist army officials are not true. For years, the Turkish army and state have concealed and denied the crimes against humanity and murder networks that they used in the 90s. Only after a lot of time had passed it was accepted that the facts expressed with regards to this issue, especially the existence of JİTEM, were true.

On the other hand, by confiscating the masks and tools provided by the guerrilla to protect themselves against chemical warfare and by preventing the delegations who wanted to go to the battlefield to examine the use of chemical weapons, the KDP has revealed that it is a partner of the anti-Kurdish fascist AKP-MHP government and the occupying Turkish army in their Kurdish genocide and crimes against humanity.

The attitude of the international powers also shows their complicity in the war crimes of the fascist AKP-MHP government. Until today they have not taken a stance although it is well-known that the Turkish state has used chemical weapons. Although the OPCW is responsible for the investigation of the use of chemical weapons, it has not accepted any applications with regards to this matter, let alone taken a stance. The weapons and technology used for the Kurdish genocide, especially the banned weapons, are provided to the Turkish forces by the US, European and NATO powers. This attitude of the international powers can neither be accepted by the Kurdish people nor by humanity. They must abandon this attitude and stop being complicit in the crimes against humanity committed by the fascist AKP-MHP as a result of its anti-Kurdish hostility. The US, European states and all relevant powers, especially the OPCW and the UN, must take a stance against the war crimes of the Turkish state. Otherwise, they will be considered guilty by our people and by history.

The fascist AKP-MHP government and the occupying army officials aggressively deny the use of chemical weapons due to their own guilt and target those who speak out. This stance of the AKP-MHP is enough to sufficiently explain the truth. If chemical weapons have not been used, then why are those who speak out about it targeted and arrested? By doing so, they want to prevent the truth from being revealed. However, this issue is of great importance which is why everyone should make an effort to uncover the truth. In order to understand the truth, independent delegations need to go to the battlefield and conduct investigations there. We would like to call on all official and democratic civilian institutions to carry out such investigation. We are ready to provide all necessary support for the delegations to go to the battlefield and conduct investigations there. The HPG has already announced that they will help the independent delegations to visit the battlefield and conduct investigations.

The anti-Kurdish hostility and the crimes committed as a result of it do not only mean that the AKP-MHP is guilty. The whole country and society are put under suspicion and are thus made partners in the crimes against humanity. From this point of view, not only Kurds but also the democratic forces of Turkey, intellectuals, writers, artists, academics and all sensitive groups must take a stance against the crimes against humanity committed by the AKP-MHP and inform and mobilize the society with regards to this issue. The AKP-MHP must be prevented from committing more crimes and must be tried for the many crimes against humanity and genocide it has already carried out. The conscience and future of society can be saved by putting the fascist AKP-MHP government on trial and holding it to account.


KCK Executive Council