Turkey to make defense at ECHR over curfews in southeast
Serkan Demirtaş - ANKARA
AFP photoTurkey’s government is set to provide a defense at the European Court of Human Right (ECHR) over curfews in Southeast Anatolia, where security forces have been conducting operations against militants.
“The answers to these questions will be given through legal ways. These operations will continue until this region is fully cleared of terrorists. The state has its determination and nobody can question this,” EU Minister Volkan Bozkır said Jan. 8.
Bozkır said the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) had applied to the European court over the declaration of curfews, prompting the Strasbourg-based court to demand Turkey answer questions on how the basic needs of the people are being met.
In recent months, security forces have launched an extensive military operation in districts like Sur, Cizre and Silopi and others to dissemble trenches and roadblocks that they claim have been erected by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Curfews have been declared in many areas since early summer, raising concerns about the continuation of normal life and the ability of locals to meet their basic needs. The HDP brought the issue to the attention of the ECHR after its individual application to the Constitutional Court was rejected.
‘EU has nothing to say’
Touching on the EU’s political reaction to the operations, Bozkır said the EU was also engaged in a fight against terrorism in a bid to respond to growing terrorist threats across the continent and, therefore, could not criticize Turkey.
“Like all countries, Turkey has the obligation, responsibility and right to provide security and comfort to its citizens. An important operation is being carried out in Turkey,” Bozkır said, explaining that militants had launched a massive campaign in the aforementioned areas under the guise of democratic autonomy with their own flag and legal system.
“In response, the Turkish state announced that it would not allow this and started to clear these provinces with security forces. We have made important progress. We hope this region will soon be cleared of terrorists and their trenches so that our people can continue to live in peace and our schools can be reopened. In such a situation, the EU has no word to say. And until now, there were no serious criticism … directed at us by the EU,” he said.