human rights watch

måndag 4 januari 2016

Soldier, policeman and civilian killed in clashes with PKK in Sur and Silopi

Soldier, policeman and civilian killed in clashes with PKK in Sur and Silopi.

A soldier and a police officer died in two separate attacks perpetuated by the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in the Sur district of Diyarbakır on Sunday night and Monday, while a civilian was killed during ongoing clashes in the Silopi district of Şırnak late on Sunday.

The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) on Monday announced on its official website a soldier who took part in ongoing military operations against the PKK in the southeastern district of Sur, where curfews have been in place for over a month, was injured and later succumbed to his injuries in hospital.

The TSK statement says the soldier was injured when explosives planted by the PKK on Yıkık Kaya Street in the Fatih neighborhood of Sur were detonated by terrorists on Sunday night.
A special operations police officer was shot in the neck on Monday when PKK terrorists opened fire with rifles against the security forces in Sur's Fatihpaşa neighborhood, the Doğan news agency reported on Monday. The police officer, Musa Yüce, was taken to Diyarbakır Military Hospital, but died of his wounds despite medical efforts to save him.
Sur district has been the scene of intense clashes since late July. Frequent days-long curfews have being imposed in the district since then. The curfews intensified since Nov. 28, when prominent Kurdish lawyer and Diyarbakır Bar Association President Tahir Elçi was shot and killed.

In another related development, civilian Yusuf Yağıcı was shot and killed during anti-PKK operations conducted in the Silopi district of Şırnak on Sunday night. According to media reports, Yağıcı, his wife, Şahne Yağıcı, and his relative Zübeyde Esen were shot while were trying to leave their home during intense clashes in Barbaros neighborhood. Yusuf Yağıcı died at the scene, while his wife and Esen were seriously injured. Şahne Yağıcı was rushed to the Şırnak State Hospital, while Esen was taken to the Silopi State Hospital. Media reports say Esen's medical condition remains critical.

The authorities say those three civilians were shot by PKK terrorists. Pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) Şırnak deputy Faysal Sarıyıldız claimed in a post on Twitter on Sunday night security forces had shot at Yağıcı and Esen in Silopi. An investigation has been launched into the incident.

Since late July many civilians and members of the security forces in predominantly Kurdish areas, where repeated curfews continue to cast a shadow over daily life, have died in clashes between the military and the PKK.

Many locals have been forced to leave their homes as the region suffers from electricity and water cuts in addition to schools being closed.

Since the settlement process launched by the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government in 2012 with the PKK to end the country's long-standing Kurdish problem ended in late July, nearly 200,000 locals in the Turkey's predominantly Kurdish Southeast have been forced to leave their homes due to fighting and curfews.

In the meantime, the Doğan news agency reported on Sunday night the military had entered Silopi's Zap neighborhood, which is called “small Kandil” because of the high number of PKK terrorists seeking taking shelter in the neighborhood, with tanks and other heavy weapons on Sunday evening as part an ongoing large-scale offensive. The anti-PKK offensive has been jointly conducted by soldiers and the police in Cizre and Silopi since Dec. 14, 2015.

Kandil is the name of the PKK's main base in the northern Iraq.

The news agency report also says 12 high-ranking PKK commanders were in Zap neighborhood to coordinate the attacks against security forces, but later fled after security forces entered the neighborhood on Sunday night.

The HDP released a written statement on Sunday evening over the operation in Zap, stating soldiers had used tanks during their operation in the neighborhood.

The TSK announced on Sunday evening 88 PKK terrorists have been killed so far in anti-PKK operations in Silopi. In its statement, the TSK also revealed many various types of ammunition belonging to the PKK were seized during the operations.

In İdil, another district of Şırnak, a group of PKK terrorists attacked the İdil Police Department with rifles on Sunday afternoon. No casualty were reported.

200 protest in İstanbul over curfews in SE

More than 200 people in İstanbul protested peacefully against the curfews and operations in the Southeast. The demonstration on Sunday was held by the pro-Kurdish HDP. It attracted more riot police than participants, some of whom chanted "long live the resistance of Kurdistan."

Protesters called for an immediate resumption of negotiations between the government and Abdullah Öcalan, the imprisoned leader of the terrorist PKK.

Riot police chased demonstrators down side streets in the Kadıköy district of İstanbul, detained a handful of protesters and fired a salvo of rubber bullets at the fleeing crowd. No injuries were reported.

The PKK's three-decade-old fight flared up again in late July after the collapse of a two-year cease-fire, plunging the Southeast back into open conflict.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) released a report on Dec. 22 to draw attention to civilian deaths in the Southeast that have been taking place since July. According to the report, more than 100 civilians have been killed and many more have been injured in the region since late July.

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