Turkey: Thousands grieve after botched airstrike

December 30, 2011 - 6:26 AM
APTOPIX Turkey Airstrikes

In this Thursday, Dec. 29, 2011 photo, people stand beside the trailer of a tractor carrying the bodies of people mistakenly killed by Turkey's air force, near the Turkish village of Ortasu in Sirnak, Turkey. Turkish warplanes mistakenly killed 35 smugglers and other villagers in an operation targeting Kurdish rebels in Iraq, a senior official said _ one of the largest one-day civilian death tolls during Turkey's 27-year drive against the guerrillas. The killings spurred angry demonstrations in Istanbul and several cities in the mostly Kurdish southeast, and were the latest incident of violence to undermine the Turkish government's efforts to appease the aggrieved Kurdish minority by granting it more cultural freedoms.(AP Photo)

ISTANBUL (AP) — Thousands of mourners have gathered for the funerals of 35 civilians killed in botched Turkish military airstrikes after they were mistaken for Kurdish rebels based in northern Iraq.

Turkish television footage on Friday shows crowds gathering in villages in southeastern Turkey. Kurdish activists planned demonstrations to protests the deaths of several dozen smugglers in the raid along the border.

Turkish officials have confirmed that those killed in the Wednesday attack were civilians.

Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu says an investigation is underway.