On Dec. 28, 2011, Turkish warplanes rained bombs on a group of Kurdish smugglers as they were preparing to cross into Turkey from Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq. Some 34 men were killed along with dozens of pack mules. Most of the victims were teenagers. The youngest was 12. Many were from the same extended family. And all came from a pair of remote border villages in the township of Uludere.
The Uludere massacre remains a major a test of the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) commitment to democratic reform and, in particular, to cementing civilian control over the army.