Turkey Military Forces Impose Curfews in Two Kurdish Towns

Turkey Military Forces Impose Curfews in Two Kurdish Towns
Sun Mar 13, 2016 19:00:21

Turkey has announced a new round-the-clock curfew in two Kurdish-dominated towns in its southeast as part of operations to battle Kurdish militants.

Turkish authorities on Sunday declared indefinite curfews in the towns of Yuksekova and Nusaybin.

The office of the governor of Hakkari Province, which borders Iraq and Iran, said a curfew would take effect in Yuksekova at 2000 GMT (4 p.m. EDT) Sunday, adding that entering and leaving the town would also be banned.

Authorities in Mardin Province also announced curfew in the town of Nusaybin - on the border with Syria -starting midnight.

Ankara has been imposing curfews in several mainly-Kurdish towns in its southeast since August last year. It has also been conducting offensives against the positions of the militants in northern Syria and northern Iraq.

The operations began in the wake of a deadly July 2015 bombing in the southern Turkish town of Suruc. More than 30 people died in the attack, which the Turkish government blamed on the Takfiri ISIS terrorist group.

After the bombing, the Kurdish militants, who accuse the government in Ankara of supporting ISIS, engaged in a series of attacks against Turkish police and security forces, prompting the Turkish military operations in return.

The clashes that erupt between the militants and the Turkish military in the flashpoint areas in Turkey have forced tens of thousands of people to flee their homes and raised concerns over human rights violations and civilian deaths.

The militants are those of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, also known as the PKK, who have had ambitions for an autonomous Kurdish region in Turkey since the 1980s.

Anadolu news agency said in a report earlier in March that more than 1,200 Kurdish militants had been killed in such offensives in southeastern Turkey.

Last week, however, the Turkish military ended a three-month operation against the militants in the historic Sur district of Diyarbakir - the largest city in the country’s mostly Kurdish southeast.

On Sunday, authorities eased the curfew in some streets and one neighborhood of Sur, but the siege over the district’s main areas was still in place.

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