Clashes have forced thousands of people to leave their homes already
On January 19, Turkish tanks pounded Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) targets in Cizre, a southeastern town where army said it had killed 127 Kurdish militants in a week.
The pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) said at least 23 civilians had been killed in the town after shelling from hilltops.
Security sources told to the reporters that during a protest against the curfews, a 16 year old boy was killed in Diyarbakir- the region’s largest city. They also said that, in the town of Sirnak, a police officer was killed after gunmen attacked his armed vehicle.
According to reports, clashes have forced tens of thousands of people to leave their homes in Sur, a historic district of Diyarbakir, which has been under curfew for three weeks.
After the pledge of Turkish president to root out militants, Turkish army launched a new offensive in the mainly Kurdish region last week.
“Tanks and heavy weaponry, which are only used in conventional warfare, are being used by the Turkish armed forces, in areas where hundreds of thousands of civilians live,” Diyarbakir Mayor Gultan Kisanak criticized the tactics in a statement.
Media reported that, the towns of Cizre and Silopi, bordering Iraq and Syria, had been the focus of the campaign. Turkish TVs have already shown Turkish troops are patrolling rubble-strewn streets among buildings riddled with bullet holes.
In last year July, a two-year ceasefire between the PKK and Ankara fell apart, which shattered peace talks and revived a conflict that afflicted Turkey’s mainly Kurdish southeast for three decades. Some reports suggested that more than 40,000 people were killed.