Ministry of Defense: No civilians harmed by drones

DAILY SABAH
ANKARA
Published 08.09.2017 00:51

The Ministry of Defense denied in a written statement the Republican People's Party's (CHP) Istanbul deputy Sezgin Tanrıkulu's allegations that innocent civilians were killed in operations with unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAV).

In response to Tanrıkulu's statement, the National Defense Ministry issued a statement on Sept. 6 that denies Tanrıkulu's claims.

"The malicious allegations about the arms of defense that are used in our active and productive fight against terrorism do not reflect reality. None of our citizens were harmed in the operations against terrorism conducted by the use of unmanned combat aerial vehicles," the statement said.

It is also said that these types of claims were intentionally made by pro-terrorist people to discredit Turkey's successful fight against terrorism without providing a proof.

Upon the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK)'s affective operations against terrorism with its national unmanned combat aerial vehicles, pro-PKK media outlets made claims that the TSK killed civilians in its operations. It was previously reported that the PKK complained of UCAV's effectiveness in their radio communication.

The PKK's complaints about unmanned combat aerial vehicles were reported on Aug. 23. Accordingly, the leader of the PKK, Murat Karayılan complained about the effectiveness unmanned combat aerial vehicles, saying "Turkish soldiers are not like before. They have changed their tactics. In the past, we were confronted by them. Now, we can't hide. Soldiers are listening, watching us and hunting us as if they were hunting rabbits."

Tanrıkulu voiced the same allegations in line with the PKK and its media outlets' allegations, saying on Twitter on Sept. 6, "Unmanned combat aerial vehicles named Bayraktar struck civilians, innocents. I will continue to follow this issue."

Tanrıkulu was previously the lawyer for the PKK's imprisoned leader Abdullah Öcalan and he was identified as "A reliable source for the CIA" in the Stratfor documents leaked by the Wikileaks.

The UCAV are very effective in the fight against the PKK, according to TSK figures. Accordingly the TSK detected and killed approximately 150 PKK terrorists with the help of drones over the last two years.

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