Cizre residents bury dead after curfew ends

Cizre residents bury dead after curfew ends

ŞIRNAK – Agence France-Presse
Cizre residents bury dead after curfew ends

Relatives and mourners gather around the coffins of people killed during clashes between Turkish forces and militants of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in the Kurdish-majority city of Cizre, in southeastern Turkey, on September 13, 2015, following a week-long curfew imposed to support a Turkish military operation against the Kurdish militants. AFP photo

Thousands of relatives and mourners marched through the center of the mainly-Kurdish southeastern city of Cizre on Sept. 13 to bury over a dozen people who lost their lives in clashes during a nine-day Turkish army imposed curfew.

The mourners carried the coffins of 16 people to a funeral ceremony before their burial.

The Turkish government said up to 32 outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants were killed during the curfew imposed in Cizre in an “anti-terror” operation.

But the Kurdish-problem-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) said 21 civilians were killed during the operation, which deprived residents of access to essential amenities and triggered food shortages.

Distraught relatives embraced the coffins, which were emblazoned with pictures of the dead.

Local media reports said some 100,000 people took part in the funeral ceremony.

According to the DIHA news agency, the dead included a 35-day-old baby, several teenagers and three men aged 70 or over. 

The Interior Ministry, however, said just one civilian was killed in clashes between the army and the PKK.

Meanwhile, nine-year-old Tahsin Uray, who was wounded along with another child in an explosion in the Kızıltepe district of Mardin, died in hospital on Sept. 3.  

Uray and Ramazan Ş., 9, were playing with a bag they found in their neighborhood when the explosives in the bag detonated, seriously wounding both children. Uray ultimately succumbed to his injuries, while Ramazan Ş. is still in hospital.

The authorities early on Sept. 12 lifted the curfew, which had been imposed on Sept. 4. The unusually long duration had sparked international concern.