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22 January, 2016

Turkish security operations in Kurdish areas puts 200,000 at risk

Turkey’s security operations in the mainly Kurdish southeast resemble ‘collective punishment’, and have risked the lives of some 200,000 people, placing residents in the crossfire and depriving them of water and electricity, Amnesty International said. The human rights watchdog refuted Ankara’s claims that the 24/7 curfew it imposed in areas where the government troops were fighting the armed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) units were aimed solely at protecting civilians.

One Kurdish family said that they had to live under the same roof with the decomposing body of their dead relative for nearly two weeks due to the curfew, Amnesty International wrote on its website. 150 civilians as well as hundreds of troops on both sides were killed since Turkey launched its operation in the south-east in July 2014, according to the London-based watchdog.

Among those killed were young children, women and elderly people, who are very unlikely to have been involved in clashes with security forces, Amnesty stressed.

The Turkish operations in Diyarbakir, Cizre, Silopi and other Kurdish towns “are beginning to resemble collective punishment,” Dalhuisen [Amnesty International’s Europe and Central Asia Program Director] said. Amnesty also blasted the international community for turning a blind eye to what Ankara has been doing with the Kurds.

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