human rights watch

söndag 29 november 2015

Turkish "security forces" have joined the Islamic State?

Turkish "security forces" have joined the Islamic State?
For several months now, Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast seems to have been thrown back to the 1990s, a period marked by gross human rights violations, as the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) pushes a new strategy extending armed confrontations to urban areas.

The bloody unrest in cities and towns has followed a distinct pattern: PKK militants first dig trenches in various neighborhoods and then proclaim the area an “autonomous region.” The local governor subsequently responds by imposing a round-the-clock curfew, which not only bars residents from going out but completely cuts off the area, making it off-limits to the media and any nonresidents, as the security forces move in to purge the PKK militants.

The curfews and the ensuing clashes have lasted up to 10 days in some areas, with civilians confined to their homes, unable to go out to buy food or go to the hospital. The security operations, unfolding away from the public eye and media scrutiny, have led to allegations of grave human rights violations, including claims that civilians are deliberately killed in raids that sometimes involve tanks and aerial bombardments.

Neighborhoods have been completely destroyed, and the media have carried images reminiscent of war zones, with walls torn down and houses riddled with bullets and mortar shrapnel.

Judging by the extent of the destruction and bloodshed, one could conclude the Turkish state has reverted to its familiar, heavy-handed style of “problem resolution.” Yet, some images captured by the media and witness accounts point to a new, alarming element unseen in the country so far. In the town of Idil in Sirnak province, for instance, special operations police forces, clad in black and wearing balaclavas, were filmed celebrating a “successful” operation by firing in the air and chanting "Allahu akbar" (God is great). Police and soldiers fighting in the Kurdish areas are known to be using nationalist slogans and symbols, but the use of religious ones is unprecedented.

Read more here:

Video: Special operations police fire into the air after returning from operations against the Kurdish population and celebrate with shouting "Takbir" and "Allahu Akhbar":

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