Thousands march to reach southeastern town under curfew

Thousands march to reach southeastern town under curfew

Thousands march to reach southeastern town under curfew

DHA photo

Around 2,000 people have begun marching to the southeastern town of Cizre, which has been under curfew for more than a week, amid ongoing military operations against outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants in several southeastern towns under curfew.

The group started marching from the Turgut Özal neighborhood of İdil, a district in the Şırnak province, around 11 a.m. on Dec. 24, with Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Istanbul deputy Erdal Ataş and the party’s local administrators of the southeastern town at its front, Doğan News Agency reported.

Cutting through roadblocks erected by PKK militants, protesters reportedly marched through mountainous paths because of the large numbers of trenches dug by militants. 

Local governors occasionally impose curfew on towns, especially in the country’s east and southeast, in coordination with the Turkish army, as a pre-emptive measure to prevent civilian casualties during military operations against militants. Military campaigns targeting the outlawed organization frequently arouse clashes between security forces and militants.

The curfews imposed on southeastern towns force locals to remain inside their homes, where they usually run out of water, electricity and even food. 

Turkey has stepped up efforts in fighting PKK terrorism, with aerial campaigns, ground operations and in-town raids targeting its militants after the outlawed group ended a two-year ceasefire before the June 7 election and starting a fresh wave of conflict between security forces and militants. 

Most recently in the southeastern province of Mardin, PKK militants opened fire on the home of the cousin of Beşir Kılınç, the head of the Justice and Development Party’s bureau (AKP) in Mardin’s Dargeçit district at 9:15 p.m. on Dec. 12, killing Kılınç’s cousin, Necim Kılınç, his daughter, Sabahat Kılınç, and wounding two others. Necim Kılınç’s wife, Fatma Kılınç, and his son, Selamet Kılınç, were wounded in gunfire and were reported to be in critical condition.

Dargeçit has been under curfew for nearly two weeks due to military operations targeting PKK militants.