Curfews in Turkey’s southeast to be tightened further
Nuray Babacan – ANKARA
AA PhotoThe authorities plan to implement even stricter practices during curfews imposed in districts in Turkey’s southeast for military operations targeting the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), daily Hürriyet has reported.
Upon new decisions to be followed at times of curfew, announced after a cabinet meeting on Dec. 14, the police will ask for the military’s help when necessary during curfews.
Military personnel and special operations forces will therefore provide support to counterterrorism police officers while additional police stations will be built in areas under curfew, particularly those near the border with Syria.
The government is also aiming to halt cross-border support to the PKK, cutting links to Kurdish areas in northern Syria administered by affiliates of the PKK.
The decision to allow military support to be given was presented in the meeting as a “consolidated method” in operations to clear towns of PKK militants.
This method, however, has drawn criticism from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), who said it would halt public access to education and health services.
The move comes amid a series of indeterminate curfews recently imposed in the southeastern towns of Cizre and Silopi in Şırnak province. Cizre and Silopi hit headlines late on Dec. 13 when around 3,000 teachers and a large number of doctors began to flee the two towns before the official start of the curfews.