Watchdog: Turkish Onslaught on Kurdish Provinces Puts 200,000 Lives at Risk

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Tight security rules and cuts to services in Turkey’s Kurdish-populated areas are threatening the lives of some 200,000 residents, a prominent human rights watchdog said Thursday.

Round-the-clock curfews and military operations have become a fact of life in eastern and southeastern Turkey since peace process between Ankara and pro-independence militias there broke down in July 2015, Sputnik reported.

“The operations currently being conducted under round-the-clock curfews are putting the lives of tens of thousands of people at risk and are beginning to resemble collective punishment,” Amnesty International Europe and Central Asia Programme Director John Dalhuisen said.

More than 150 civilians are estimated to have been killed during military operations in Kurdish territories under curfew, the watchdog said. In many areas, lack of access to food and medical care, as well as water and power cuts, have put thousands of lives at risk.

Amnesty cited numerous reports that claimed Turkish security forces were preventing ambulances from entering areas under curfew. In one incident, a body of a man killed during clashes in Silopi was left unburied at the family’s home for 12 days before authorities allowed it to be collected.

The pressure group has called on Turkish authorities to restore communal services, stop siege-like curfews and allow access to the Kurdish territories for independent observers.


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