At Least 162 Civilians Killed in South East in Nearly 5 Months

At least 162 civilians were killed in the fallout of the confrontation between the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Turkish security forces during curfews in southeastern provinces between Aug. 16, 2015 and Jan. 8, according to a report by the Turkish Human Rights Foundation (TİHV).

The report, released late Saturday, reveals that during the period in question, at least 32 children, 29 women and 24 elderly civilians were killed in areas placed under curfew in southeastern Turkey. It also states that the human rights of at least 1,377,000 civilians were violated during the 58 curfews that have been declared in 19 eastern and southeastern districts in the provinces of Batman, Diyarbakır, Elazığ, Hakkari, Mardin, Muş and Şırnak.

The report puts special emphasis on human rights violations after Dec. 11, 2015 and says that civilians’ lives have been hugely affected by the way curfews are imposed, the size of areas implicated, increasing military crackdowns and the hardened discourse by the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government.

A total of 14 children, 18 women and 15 elderly civilians were killed districts under curfews in Diyarbakır, Mardin and Şırnak provinces during the 79 days between Dec. 11, 2015 and Jan. 8, the report goes on to say. One of the children was still unborn and was killed when a pregnant women was shot. The report also includes statements from witnesses in the region, who said that at least 22 people were killed while inside their homes due to gunshots, their houses being hit by heavy weaponry or because they were unable to secure vital medicine due to curfews.

More than 260 members of the security forces have been killed in clashes with the PKK since a cease-fire negotiated by jailed PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan and the government collapsed in July.

The TİHV also reported that some people were killed during protests in neighborhoods where no operations were being conducted against the PKK. Three people in Sur and one person in Nusaybin were slain when troops opened fire at protesters.

“Even though there have been no official statements, according to the media almost 10,000 troops are involved in operations in districts such as Cizre, Sur and Silopi, where curfews are in place. Furthermore, hundreds of armored military vehicles such as tanks have been dispatched to the districts and cities in question,” according to the report.

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