Uludere commander removed from post in wake of death of 35 villagers

January 09, 2012, Monday/ 12:06:00/ TODAYSZAMAN.COM

A colonel serving as the deputy commander of a military regiment in the Uludere district of the southeastern province of Şırnak has been removed from his post after 35 civilians were killed near Uludere last month by the military.

Gülyazı Border Regiment Deputy Commander Col. Hüseyin Onur Güney was removed from his post by the Interior Ministry on Sunday upon a request from the Şırnak Governor's Office.

Turkish warplanes mistakenly killed 35 smugglers and other villagers in an operation that targeted Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) terrorists in Iraq late December. The government later acknowledged that the victims were smugglers, not terrorists. The military issued a statement saying the warplanes had targeted the group based on intelligence that suggested a group of armed terrorists would be heading towards the Turkish border to stage attacks on the military.

The victims were from the villages of Ortasu, Gülyazı and Ortabağ in the province's Uludere district. The government has pledged financial compensation for the families of the victims.

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