HDP has tabled a parliamentary motion for the recognition of the Halabja Massacre as the Kurdish Genocide, and the declaration of March 16 as Genocide Commemoration Day.
Presented by Van Member of Parliament Kemal Aktaş, the motion features the request for the recognition of the Kurdish Genocide in view of the Halabja massacre on 16 March 1988 when the Saddam Hussein administration attacked the town with chemical weapons, and the declaration of March 16 as Genocide Day.
The motion emphasizes that on 1 March 2010 the Iraq High Criminal Court, and later the parliaments of Norway, Sweden and Great Britain had recognized the Halabja Massacre as genocide, and states that it would be “meaningful and significant for Turkey, where the highest number of Kurds live in the Middle East, to recognize the crimes committed within the scope of the ‘Anfal Campaign’ and in Halabja as genocide”.
Massacre was planned
The motion tabled by the HDP underlines the fact that the massacre aimed at ethnic cleansing and terminating the existence of the Kurds, and includes the following statements:
“Under the ‘Anfal Campaign’, the Ba’ath regime systematically developed its target of destroying the Kurdish people by exiling them from their lands and assimilating them. During the Anfal Campaign, 4,500 villages were burned down, destroyed and evacuated, and 180 thousand Kurds were massacred. The crime of Genocide is defined in the Rome Statute as ‘acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, including, killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; and forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.”
“The Halabja massacre was planned and carried out in accordance with the determined target. The aim of the Ba’ath regime was to uproot the Kurdish people from its ancient lands, or in other words, to exterminate them. From this viewpoint, this attack constitutes a Genocide against the Kurdish people.”
“The Ba’ath regime under the leadership of Saddam Hussein, in front of the eyes of all world states and peoples, in aerial attacks that commenced on 16 March 1988 and continued for three days; bombed with chemical weapons especially the town of Halabja in Iraqi Kurdistan and its environs, and 12 thousand people, the majority women and children, lost their lives in this attack, with 14,765 people gravely injured. These chemical attacks that have caused the death of 43,753 people and disabilities to 61,200 people to this day rank among the worst human tragedies.”