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AKP Report on Uludere Airstrike Condemned as 'Whitewash'

Amberin Zaman writes that the December 2011 killing of Kurdish smugglers from Uludere by Turkish warplanes remains a test for the Turkish government.
Coffins of victims killed in air strikes are carried by villagers during a funeral ceremony in Gulyazi near the southeastern Turkish town of Uludere, in Sirnak province, December 30, 2011. Turkish rights groups called on Friday for a U.N.-sponsored investigation after Turkish warplanes killed 35 villagers in an airstrike targeting Kurdish rebels on the Iraqi border that the government has called an operational mistake. REUTERS/Stringer (TURKEY - Tags: POLITICS) - RTR2VQMI

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.  

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