Turks deny using chemicals against Kurds

2011-12-08 18:01

Ankara - The Turkish military denied on Thursday it was using chemical weapons in its fight against the rebel Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and said it did not even possess such arms.

"There have been no chemical weapons or ammunition registered in the inventory of the Turkish Armed Forces," said the General Staff, which presides over the armed forces, according to the Anatolia news agency.

"The fight against the separatist terrorist organisation continues in compliance with national and universal rules of law," it added.

The military was responding to claims published in some media at home and abroad that the army was using chemical weapons in its operations against Kurdish rebels.

The pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) also accused the army several times of using such weapons.

The claims are "baseless, biased and aimed at slandering the Turkish armed forces", the General Staff said.

Listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkey and much of the international community, the PKK took up arms for Kurdish independence in southeastern Turkey in 1984, sparking a conflict that has claimed some 45 000 lives.

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