Turkish police on Oct. 20 detained several pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) members, including its Istanbul co-chair Ferhat Encü, who wanted to hold a press conference against the allegations that the Turkish Armed Forces had used chemical weapons in their operations against the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants.
“The press statement we wanted to hold in (Istanbul’s) Şirinevler district regarding the use of chemical weapons was tried to be prevented by the blockade of thousands of police. Dozens of our friends, including our co-chair Ferhat Encü, were detained. This aggression is an attempt to cover up chemical weapons, which are crimes against humanity,” HDP Istanbul Branch announced.
Kimyasal silah kullanımına ilişkin Şirinevler'de yapacağımız basın açıklaması binlerce polisin ablukası ile engellenmek istendi. Eşbaşkanımız Ferhat Encu'da dahil onlarca arkadaşımız gözaltına alındı.— HDP İstanbul (@HDPistanbul) October 20, 2022
Bu saldırganlık, insanlık suçu olan kimyasal silahları örtbas etme girişimidir. pic.twitter.com/rvKlauUmcv
On the other hand, an Ankara prosecutor’s office has launched an investigation against the Turkish Medical Association (TTB) chair Şebnem Korur Fincancı over the grounds that allegedly "making propaganda for a terrorist organization" and "insulting the Turkish nation, the state of the Republic of Turkey, state institutions and organs.”
Fincancı stated that she examined the footage of the alleged use of chemical weapons and said, "Obviously, one of the toxic chemical gases that directly affects the nervous system was used. Although its use is prohibited, we see it used in conflicts here.”
Media close to the PKK published videos this week which it said showed chemical weapons being used by the army against the PKK in northern Iraq.
After the spread of the claims, jailed former Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş said on Twitter that an independent, international delegation should go to the region and investigate the allegations and reminded that the use of chemical weapons is a crime against humanity.
Turkish officials have denied the allegations in question.