NEWS CENTER – The International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) today published a report on possible violations of the ban on chemical weapons by Turkey in attacks on Kurdish civilians and PKK fighters in northern Iraq. According to the report, there are indications that partially confirm the suspicion. The report calls for an immediate, independent international investigation to further investigate the suspicions and to prevent future violations of the ban on chemical weapons by Turkey with measures within the framework of the United Nations.
“For more than a year, there have been allegations from the Kurdish side that Turkey has used chemical weapons. So far, there has been no clear evidence for this – even indirect evidence for this allegation was missing. This has now been provided by an IPPNW delegation from Germany and Switzerland. In their report published today, the authors point to the use of tear gas as well as evidence of improvised chemical agents such as chlorine gas,” the IPPNW said.
“The Turkish Defence Minister’s statements alone constitute a clear violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention. In his speech to the Turkish parliament, he described the use of tear gas in a purely military confrontation. In such a situation, tear gas is indeed prohibited. There is only one exception in the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) for use in the context of “riot control”, i.e. during demonstrations,” states Dr Jan van Aken from the Scientific Advisory Board of IPPNW Germany.
“In view of this violation, the CWC member states could enter into appropriate consultations with the Turkish government, invoking Article IX (1) of the Convention. Measures could also be taken within the framework of the United Nations to prevent future violations of the ban on chemical weapons by Turkey,” according to IPPNW.
“Evidence of the possible use of improvised chemical agents such as chlorine gas also called for an immediate investigation of all allegations. The existing evidence is not sufficient to prove the use of chemical weapons, but it is strong enough to justify an independent international investigation by the OPCW. It would now be the responsibility of the OPCW member states to request such an investigation.