More than 100,000 Kurds displaced due to Turkish military campaign in Şırnak, Diyarbakir


Kurdish civilians gather in central Cizre of Şırnak province, southeastern Turkey, amid shortage of basic supplies in the besieged town. File photo

ARA News

ISTANBUL – As the Turkish military campaign continues across the Kurdish southeast, tens of thousands of civilians have been displaced from their homes in the provinces of Diyarbakir and Şırnak over the last few months. 

Local activists reported the displacement of more than 100,000 Kurds from their homes in southeastern Turkey. 

This comes amid intensified shelling and bombardment in Kurdish towns and villages in Şırnak and Diyarbakir at the hands of the Turkish troops. 

Although the government of President Recep Teyyip Erdogan claims its military campaign on the Kurdish region is aimed at combatting rebels of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), monitoring groups and human rights activists accused the army of targeting civilians.

“Under the pretext of combatting PKK members, the Turkish authorities are bombing infrastructures and residential neighborhoods across Şırnak and Diyarbakir,” said Hoshin Ebdullah, a Kurdish lawyer and human rights activist. 

He added that civilians stranded Kurdish areas under the ongoing military campaign suffer a sharp shortage of food and medicines, beside constant cut of electricity and water. 

“Dozens of civilians have been killed, hundreds injured and tens of thousands displaced due to the brutal operations by the Turkish forces southeastern the country,” Ebdullah told ARA News. “More than 100,000 displaced people wee documented in the last few months, while many others remain stranded in war-torn towns and villages in the Kurdish region.”

President Erdogan said last week that his government “won’t negotiate” with any Kurdish party, stressing that the military campaign “will continue until eradicating terrorists”, in reference to PKK members and supporters. 

In the meantime, Turkish journalist Hesen Sefri said that the security authorities has launched a crackdown on Turkish media outlets that reported on the army’s violations against Kurdish civilians in the ongoing campaign. 

“Every journalist who reported news on the civilian casualties and displacement across Şırnak and Diyarbakir have been arrested by the authorities on charges of igniting sectarian tension and supporting terrorists,” Sefri said. 

Speaking to ARA News in the war-torn town of Cizre in Şırnak province, civil rights activist Ehmed Hokenek said: “The Turkish army avoids mentioning the civilian casualties in its brutal campaign against the Kurdish region.”

“We hope that the international community would ever take action and stop this brutal military campaign against the Kurds,” he said. 

Reporting by: Partisan Ahmed

Source: ARA News

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