On Dec. 28 last year, Turkish jets staged an airstrike in the Uludere district of Hakkari in the southeast, near the Iraqi border. Those killed proved to be civilians, and not terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants as suspected. An investigation is still underway, but victims’ families and civilian groups accuse the government of being too slow in their investigation.
Speaking to the Anatolia news agency, Yılmaz said many comments and evaluations were being made about the Uludere incident. He said everyone should wait until the end of the judicial process. “The rule of law principle necessitates that everyone wait until the end of judicial process and offer their evaluations later on,” he said, adding that the media were not particularly careful about this. Last week, Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) deputy Hasip Kaplan said the air force commander should be called to testify in the Uludere investigation.
In his remarks on Sunday, Yılmaz said that some individuals were abusing their parliamentary privileges by attempting to influence the ongoing judicial investigation, without directly referring to Kaplan. “Our air force commander was appointed in August last year by a decision of the Supreme Military Council and a trilateral decree. The real purpose in comments regarding our commander that go beyond reasonable criticism and politeness is obviously to smear our air force and the fight of our TSK against terror.”