Turkey’s military is investigating reports that its warplanes killed at least 35 Kurdish villagers, mistaking them for PKK rebels.
An air-strike has been blamed for the deaths by local officials in the mainly Kurdish southeast of the country.
Bodies were taken to the village of Ortasu near the Iraqi border for identification. It is claimed victims may, in fact, have been smuggling fuel and sugar from Iraq when they came under fire.
Smuggling is an important source of income for local people in a region where Turkish planes regularly strike militant targets in their battle against rebels.
Turkey’s military has confirmed it launched air raids in northern Iraq on Wednesday night, saying drones identified fighters from the PKK or Kurdistan Workers Party.
It says there was a tip-off that the group, regarded as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the EU and the US, was planning attacks on its security bases. But the Turkish general staff insists the rebels were targeted with strikes in an area with no civilian population.