Cizre becomes ghost town amidst clashes

Cizre becomes ghost town amidst clashes

Cizre becomes ghost town amidst clashes

DHA photo

The southeastern town of Cizre has become a ghost town following clashes during a 12-hour curfew imposed for military operations against outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants, which left one police officer killed. 

Having seen a number of curfews over the past several months, with the latest in place for 12 hours, Cizre has become a ghost town, whose pictures show vehicles burnt, buildings with bullet damage on their outer walls, stores with window glass smashed, homes destroyed and looted, pavement cracked and several other damages in the curfew-hit town. The latest curfew was imposed at 2 p.m. on Nov. 24 and lifted at 6 a.m. on Nov. 25.

During the anti-terror operation on Nov. 24, the police officer identified as Umut Tuncay was injured during clashes with militants in Cizre, a district in the southeastern province of Şırnak, but later succumbed to his injuries at the Cizre Public Hospital where he was taken for treatment, the Şırnak Governor’s Office said in a written statement.

The governor’s office added that Tuncay was killed after PKK militants opened fire at a checkpoint in Cizre’s Yafes neighborhood on Nov. 24. 

“In operations launched to capture the perpetrators of the attack, five PKK militants were killed,” said the governor’s office, adding that the operation was ongoing.

Doğan News Agency reported that Tuncay’s body was sent to his hometown of Ankara after a symbolic funeral ceremony was done outside a local gendarmerie command in Şırnak on Nov. 25.

In a separate incident in Şırnak’s İdil district, a police officer was injured after PKK militants fired shots with automatic guns at a police convoy patrolling a major road around 12 p.m. on Nov. 25. 

The clashes between security forces and militants from the outlawed organization were reported to be ongoing and the injured police officer was taken to the İdil Public Hospital for treatment.

Turkey has stepped up efforts to secure its borders and nearby areas in its east and southeast in particular, with cross-border military operations, aerial campaigns and domestic operations against PKK militants.

The indeterminate curfew in Nusaybin, a district in the southeastern province of Mardin, is on its 14th day on Nov. 26, with anti-terror operations reportedly ongoing in the southeastern town.

Meanwhile, Turkish police detained more than 30 suspected members of the PKK in multiple raids in Istanbul and Ankara on Nov. 25.

Istanbul Police Department Counterterrorism Unit officers launched an anti-terror operation against suspected PKK members early Nov. 25, raiding at least 20 separate homes in Istanbul’s Küçükçekmece district, with 12 people detained. 

In the southern province of Adana, counterterrorism police officers detained 20 suspected members of the PKK in an anti-terror operation against the outlawed organization.