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Turkey detains doctor who claimed chemical weapons were used in Iraq



Sebnem Korur Fincanci

ISTANBUL- Turkish authorities on Wednesday detained the chairwoman of the country’s top medical union.

Sebnem Korur Fincanci was arrested a week after she called for an investigation into an alleged use of chemical weapons against Kurdish militants in northern Iraq.

Turkish Medical Association (TTB) head and human rights activist, Fincancı, was detained in Istanbul over alleged “terrorist group propaganda,’’ state news agency, Anadolu, reported.

The probe has no legal basis, the TTB said in a statement, accusing the government of taking autocratic measures.

Earlier, opposition lawmakers and activists, including Fincancı, claimed that the Turkish Armed Forces used chemical weapons against banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants in northern Iraq.

They called for an independent investigation into the alleged violation targeting the PKK, which is also listed as a terrorist group in Europe and the United States.

The Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, rejected the allegations as slander and threatened heavy penal proceedings against those behind the claims.

There is indirect evidence for possible violations by the Turkish army during a September offensive in northern Iraq, the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) separately said earlier this month.

Turkey often targets alleged PKK posts in Iraq and Syria’s north and had faced similar allegations of chemical ammunition use in the past.

The Turkish army had denied that it used or kept in its inventory internationally banned ammunition.  (dpa/NAN)

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