Turkey appeals to ICC to prosecute Israel for crimes against humanity

Pro-AKP daily SABAH reports that after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s recent declaration that Türkiye would explore ways to make Israel account for its atrocities against Palestinians before court, Turkish lawyers took their case against the Israeli government to the International Criminal Court (ICC).


The Istanbul Bar Association on Thursday submitted a file of evidence to the international court through a delegation of Turkish legal experts, including photos and videos from Türkiye’s Anadolu Agency (AA), proving Israel’s war crimes in Gaza.


The delegation, consisting of Turkish legal experts, including Cüneyt Yüksel, chairperson of the Justice Commission of Parliament and Justice and Development Party (AK Party) Istanbul deputy Ahmet Sorgun, AK Party Konya deputy of the 27th term of Parliament, Yasin Şamlı, the president of Istanbul Bar Association No. 2 and a delegation of 15 legal experts made a statement in front of the ICC’s court building in The Hague. Speaking in front of the ICC’s court building, Yüksel emphasized the urgency of addressing the atrocities committed, stating: “No conscience can remain silent about this.”


During their visit, the delegation engaged in productive discussions with the ICC Prosecutor’s Office and the Victim Participation Unit, providing a detailed analysis of Israel’s attacks on Gaza within the framework of international humanitarian law.


Yüksel revealed disturbing statistics, asserting that since Oct. 7, more than 15,000 innocent civilians have tragically lost their lives in the ongoing attacks. “We are faced with an indescribable atrocity,” he said.


Yüksel noted that more than 200 health care workers, dozens of civil defense workers and journalists have been killed in Israel’s attacks so far. “Every place where civilians gathered together became the direct target of the attacks. We are faced with a terrible case, a terrible hatred. A genocide reminiscent of Srebrenica and Khojaly is being committed,” he said.

“It is necessary to hold those responsible accountable,” urged Yüksel, explaining that even though Israel is not a party to the International Criminal Court (ICC), Israeli officials can be prosecuted due to Palestine being a party country. “In this regard, the ultimate destination is the ICC. That’s why we are here today. Our complaint is related to ensuring that the ICC carries out the necessary processes effectively and efficiently,” he said.


He emphasized that the path to bringing peace to the region lies in the establishment of an independent and sovereign Palestinian state with its capital in East Jerusalem, within the 1967 borders and possessing geographical integrity. “In this regard, Türkiye will continue its initiatives both among regional countries and in international organizations such as the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the U.N., to take steps toward solving the problem,” he concluded.


Mustafa Deniz, one of the lawyers in the delegation who contributed to the preparation of the petition, stated that in the three-folder evidence file they prepared for the ICC, there are video recordings, photographs, witness statements and victim statements.


Deniz, regarding the evidence list that constitutes the annex of their petition, said: “Our file includes video recordings, photographs and victim statements. We obtained video and photo footage from the archives of AA. I believe our meeting is significant in clearly stating our support for the Palestinians and expressing their grievavances.”


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Published By: Atilla Yeşilada

GlobalSource Partners’ Turkey Country Analyst Atilla Yesilada is the country’s leading political analyst and commentator. He is known throughout the finance and political science world for his thorough and outspoken coverage of Turkey’s political and financial developments. In addition to his extensive writing schedule, he is often called upon to provide his political expertise on major radio and television channels. Based in Istanbul, Atilla is co-founder of the information platform Istanbul Analytics and is one of GlobalSource’s local partners in Turkey. In addition to his consulting work and speaking engagements throughout the US, Europe and the Middle East, he writes regular columns for Turkey’s leading financial websites VATAN and www.paraanaliz.com and has contributed to the financial daily Referans and the liberal daily Radikal.