Interior Ministry rejects Amnesty International report on security operations in Turkey’s southeast
REUTERS photoTurkey’s Interior Ministry has rejected a report prepared by Amnesty International that decried security forces’ “brutal crackdown” in the country’s southeast, especially the Sur district of the southeastern province of Diyarbakır.
The ministry harshly criticized the report titled “Turkey: Curfews and crackdown force hundreds of thousands of Kurds from their homes,” saying Turkey conducted security operations as part of the struggle against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
“Turkey, within the boundaries of the law and international obligations, carried out anti-terror operations effectively in order to protect its citizens from PKK terror. The precautions taken as part of the anti-terror operations were aimed at protecting its citizens from the PKK and are legal, necessary and proportionate,” the statement released by the Interior Ministry read, adding that the Amnesty report did not reflect the truth.
Claiming that the PKK was applying pressure on civilians and threatening them, the ministry accused militants of infiltrating among women and children during security operations and using them as human shields. In addition, the ministry said the PKK forced people who did not support them to leave their houses before using the vacated houses as shelters.
In its statement, the ministry said it has been struggling against the PKK for the last 40 years and stressed that the group was on the terror list of the European Union, the United States and many other countries.
The ministry also said special precautions were being taken in order to prevent civilians from harm.
The Amnesty International report released on Dec. 6, 2016, said “tens of thousands of residents of the UNESCO world heritage site of Sur are among an estimated half a million people forced out of their homes as a result of a brutal crackdown by Turkish authorities over the past year which may amount to collective punishment.”
“Under the state of emergency introduced following the July coup-attempt, the human rights situation in the southeast of Turkey has deteriorated,” the report also said.