Across Kurdish areas in South Eastern Turkey, areas that are overwhelmingly ethnically Kurdish, a virtual civil war is going on. What the right wing Turkish AKP government describes as “security operations” were first launched in the Sur district of Diyarbakır and the Cizre and Silopi districts of Şırnak in mid-December.
The alleged target of this offensive is the Kurdish PKK (Kurdish Workers Party), an organisation which had an on-off ceasefire with the Turkish government over the last few years whilst Kurds increasingly turned to legal political campaigning with their party the HDP (Peoples’ Democratic Party). That ceasefire was eventually called off in November after numerous assassinations and killings of Kurdish politicians and civilians.
According to the HDP, at least 200 Kurdish civilians, including 70 children, had been killed since last July -the Turkish government claims to have killed 500 ‘militants’. Only last Saturday, 6th February, 60 were killed in Cizre alone. Cizre has been under curfew for nearly 2 months since armed Kurdish militants mostly affiliated with the Patriotic Revolutionary Youth Movement (YDG-H) – often referred to as the “youth wing” of the PKK – declared autonomy and began erecting roadblocks and digging trenches.
On Monday 8th February the regime announced that the repression would be extended into the İdil district of Şırnak, Nusaybin district of Mardin and Yüksekova district of Hakkari. Continue reading