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Gerila TV


The mines that killed seven soldiers in the southeastern province of Hakkari last year were made from state-produced materials, according to a statement from the Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office of the eastern province of Van released Thursday.

The fatal explosion occurred in Hakkari’s Çukurca district May 29, 2009, just before Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was set to meet with Ahmet Türk, the head of the now-disbanded, pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party, or DTP. The mine blast was attributed to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK.

Erdoğan cancelled his appointment with Türk after the explosion.

The statement from the prosecutor’s office confirmed a story in the daily Zaman the same day about the conclusions of a gendarmerie criminal report. The prosecutor’s office said it had sent the case file to the General Staff on March 4 after concluding that it is not within the office’s jurisdiction to start procedures against military personnel.

The statement from the prosecutor’s office did not include any information about the type of ammunition used in the mines.

Family members of two of the soldiers who died made a complaint after a voice recording was broadcast on some Web sites following the explosion. In the recording, two commanders could be heard speaking about the event and saying that the mines had been placed by the military. This led the Van prosecutor’s office to initiate its investigation into the incident.

The gendarmerie criminal report concluded that the mines were made of mortar ammunition produced by the state-owned Machinery and Chemical Industry Corporation, or MKE. The prosecutor’s office sent the file to the General Staff for the commanders in charge.

In the voice recording, Çukurca Brigade Commander Zeki Es allegedly told Hakkari 3rd Tactic Div. Cmdr. Gürbüz Kaya that he was the one who placed the mines and that he was very upset about having gotten Kaya into trouble.

The prosecutor’s office said the suspected soldiers could be tried for causing the death of more than one person through their negligence. The statement from the office also said that seven soldiers died when mines placed for security reasons exploded.

(Thursday, April 8, 2010 - ISTANBUL - Daily News with wires)