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ICRC calls for compliance with international law in Turkey and Northern Iraq

22-03-1995 News Release 1797

Geneva (ICRC) - Following the recent operations of the Turkish armed forces in northern Iraq, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is deeply concerned about the plight of the civilian population, particularly vulnerable in combat areas.

The ICRC appeals to the Turkish military authorities and to all the parties involved to respect international humanitarian law. It calls upon them to refrain from launching any indiscriminate attack that may endanger the civilian population and to accord humane treatment to captured combatants and arrested civilians. It also requests them to care for the wounded and sick and to respect the Red Cross and Red Crescent emblems.

On 22 March the ICRC sent the Turkish Government a note reminding it of its obligation to comply with international humanitarian law, particularly the Fourth Geneva Convention, in occupied Iraqi territory, and Article 3 common to the four Geneva Conventions, which applies to non-international armed conflicts. The ICRC further requested immediate access to Kurdish combatants and civilians detained by the Turkish armed forces. The ICRC had already made several approaches to the Turkish Government with a view to carrying out its humanitarian mandate in Turkey.