Kurdish little girl drinks ground water amid water cut by Turkish authorities in Cizre town. Photo: ARA News
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CIZRE – The Turkish authorities on Saturday lifted a curfew that has been imposed on the Kurdish town of Cizre in the southeastern province of Şırnak, local sources reported.
“Life started to return in Cizre after deadly attacks by Turkish forces. The authorities had imposed a curfew on the town and cut off electricity and water. The Turkish operations caused casualties among civilians,” media activist Hesen Ciziri told ARA News.
Fierce clashes took place between Turkish forces and rebels of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the town over the past two weeks.
This comes amid calls from the European Commission of Human Rights demanding the Turkish authorities to allow observers to enter Cizre town and investigate possible violations against civilians.
Nils Muižnieks, human rights commissioner for the Council of Europe, expressed concern over claims of “disproportionate use of force” against civilians in Cizre.
“I have received serious allegations of disproportionate use of force by security forces against civilians,” said Muižnieks in a statement. “I urge the authorities to ensure immediate access to Cizre by independent observers in order to dispel the rumours of human rights violations.”
On Thursday, the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) said in a statement that 21 civilians have died during the Turkish curfew.
Selahattin Demirtas, the co-chairman of the HDP, has been leading fellow deputies and dozens of supporters on a march to Cizre to end the curfew and draw attention to the plight of its 120,000 residents.
However, the Turkish army denied killing civilians, saying that most of the dead in Cizre are PKK supporters.
Turkish interior minister Selami Altinok said on Thursday that at least 30 Kurdish fighters and one civilian had been killed in the clashes since last Friday.
The Turkish authorities said they launched the operation and imposed the curfew on Cizre to eliminate Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) fighters.
Reporting by: Eyaz Ciziri
Source: ARA News