CHP delegation paints a dire picture of Diyarbakır

CHP delegation paints a dire picture of Diyarbakır

Rifat Başaran - ANKARA
CHP delegation paints a dire picture of Diyarbakır

AA photo

Numerous human rights, the right to life being number one, are being violated in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır, a delegation from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has said upon its return from the city that has been the site of ongoing clashes between security forces and militants of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Meanwhile, doctors and paramedics working in Diyarbakır have no inventory of the incidents that have been taking place in areas under curfew and have called for a one-day ceasefire in order to be able to reach people in need of health services, CHP’s Antalya deputy Niyazi Nefi Kara, who led the group, said on Jan. 12.

“Since paramedic units are not able to get there [areas under curfew] due to clashes, what is going on there is not known. There are healthcare workers who were shot to death in the clash areas. Vaccination cannot be done, it is not known whether there are women who are giving birth and no medical intervention can be offered for newborn babies. There is no health data concerning 15 neighborhoods,” Kara said.

“Therefore, doctors and healthcare providers have been asking for the declaration of a one-day ceasefire and for the lifting of the curfew, even if it is for one day, in order to reach people living there. They say that they can medically intervene in those in need and also determine the overall situation during this day. For this, the Diyarbakır Doctors’ Union and SES’ [the Union of Employees in Public Health and Social Services] Diyarbakır branch have filed applications to the governorate several times but they have been refused,” he said.

“The view we have seen tore our hearts out. Although a curfew has been officially declared in six neighborhoods, it de facto exists in 15 neighborhoods. We were able to enter Sur but we could only walk 200 meters on the main street. Under such conditions, health services cannot be offered. These days after curfews have been declared for the last 40 days, people are left hungry and without health services,” Kara said.

“There are heavy violations of the right to life and serious defects in reaching health services. Family health centers have been evacuated by security forces. However, the governorate and the Provincial Health Department say it was ‘not their instruction.’ It is not known who ordered the evacuation. Doctors’ appeal for setting up tents in order to offer health services has been rejected. Furthermore, the doctors who proposed this have been declared ‘PKK members’ and a lynching campaign against them has been launched,” he said.

Violence between the security forces and alleged militants of the PKK reignited in summer 2015, shattering a fragile peace process and a two-and-a-half-year de facto period of non-conflict. 

Amid military operations and curfews since early December 2015, according to figures released by the Turkish General Staff over the weekend, a total of 448 militants have been killed in ongoing operations in the towns of Cizre and Silopi, near the Syrian and Iraqi borders, and Diyarbakir’s Sur neighborhood. All three areas have been subjected to 24-hour curfews and security operations since last month.

Also over the weekend, the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TİHV) said 32 children, 29 women and 24 elderly people were among the civilians killed in the three localities.

“There is a serious emotional disengagement among people. A lot of people we met said, ‘We are under intense pressure. Turkey is otherizing us.’ However, the main danger is about the new generation. According to what we have been told, those who have guns in their hands now are people who were children during the 1990s. If these clashes prolong, a return path will be closed and no communication with the new generation will be possible in any way. Because children raised under these conditions will grow up with feelings of revenge and hatred,” Kara said.