Commission denies rumors of militant training camp at Apayd?n

by editor | 4th September 2012 3:58 pm

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ISTANBUL – Anatolia News Agency

DHA Photo

DHA Photo

No militants are being trained at the secretive Apayd?n Refugee Camp in Hatay, the head of the Parliamentary Commission for Human Rights said after a visit there that was barred to all members of the media except for the semi-official Anatolia news agency.

The camp was “similar to any other camp we’ve seen,” Ayhan Sefer Üstün said, adding that it was mostly made up of women and children.

Addressing rumors that the area is being used to train militants for the Free Syrian Army to stage attacks against the Syrian government, Üstün said the physical layout ruled out such speculation.
“It is a very narrow space,” said Üstün, who was joined by two fellow members from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and one member of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP). “People can barely set up their tents. As far as we can see, it is not physically possible for the rumors to be true.”

Asked why only Anatolia news agency reporters were allowed in the camp, Üstün said: “Well, of course we have plenty of channels and agencies. But we saw it would be most beneficial for Anatolia news agency to come in. It isn’t possible to take all channels around the camp.”

Üstün said information about the visit would be shared via the news agency.

Üstün said nearly 300 of the 2,764 refugees of the camps were Syrian army members, police officers and public officials and that the remaining were all women and children.

Members of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) had speculated that the camp was being used to train anti-government militants because the camp has long been closed to the public scrutiny.

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