On Dec. 28, 2011, Turkish fighter jets bombed smugglers mistakenly believed to be terrorists in the Turkish-Iraqi border area near Uludere, sparking outrage in Turkey. Columnists agree that the WSJ report has added more doubts to the already lingering questions as to whether the General Staff indeed mistook the smugglers for terrorists or whether it intentionally attacked them.
Eyüp Can from the Radikal daily says that some news agencies presented the news about the WSJ’s article as, “Intelligence about Uludere came from US.” Yet we already knew that all Heron images come from the US. Can says the WSJ article is important in two ways. Firstly, the US had actually warned Turkish officials to be sure about who the people in the images were. Can says he has been calling the General Staff ever since he read the article but has so been unable to get a response, which proves that it is having a hard time coming up with a reasonable explanation to clear itself. And the second important point, Can notes, is that the article in the WSJ was not written to give us some answers about the Uludere incident. It was to put forward the message, “We are providing our allies with technological devices, yet they, as in this example, don’t know how to use them properly.”
Noting that there have already been many doubts about the credibility of the General Staff in the Uludere incident, Taraf’s Ahmet Altan says the General Staff should answer these questions right away: Why did it ignore the US’s suggestion to obtain more information about the targets? Why didn’t it want to be sure about the identities of the people it “mistook” for terrorists? Why is it not giving the information it has in hand to the prosecutor overseeing the incident? And finally, why is the government trying to cover this incident up?
He also points out that the article in the WSJ indicates that there are people in the US administration who are discontent with the Turkish state’s attitude towards the Uludere incident and who are threatening the General Staff by saying they are ready to reveal the truth at any time.