December 2015–February 2016 Cizre curfew

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Siege of Cizre
Part of PKK rebellion (2015–present) (Turkey–PKK conflict)
DateDecember 2015-11 February 2016
LocationCizre, Şırnak, Turkey
Result parts of Cizre destroyed, many civilians killed
Belligerents
 Turkey Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK)
Units involved

Turkish Armed Forces

YDG-H
Casualties and losses
Unknown Unknown
Total killed: "hundreds"

December 2015–February 2016 Cizre curfew was the second Turkish military curfew on the city since the onset of the 2015 PKK rebellion. The curfew took place within the scope of the 2015-16 Şırnak clashes in the PKK rebellion and after the September 2015 Cizre curfew.

The curfew[edit]

As in other places, the Turkish military used heavy weapons to bomb residential areas. According to Russia Today, the total death toll was "hundreds".[1]

Around 20 January Turkish military opened fire without warning on a group of unarmed Kurdish civilians waving white flags, thereby killing two and wounding nine people.[2][3][4] The video journalist Refik Tekin filming the incident was shot in the leg and later accused of being a member of a terrorist organisation. Turkish state media reported: "Three terrorists were neutralised and nine others wounded".[5] The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights expressed concerns and urged an investigation.[6][7]

During the military operations in the weeks before the massacre on 7 February there were reports about people trapped in basements, some of them wounded, and that the government denied emergency ambulance access.[8][9] Cumhuriyet published a recording of a telephone conversation with the citizens in one of the basements.[10] In another recording it is reported that Turkish security forces burned about 20 people alive after pouring gasoline into a basement, and that they were playing music used by the ultra-nationalist or fascist organisations Grey Wolves and MHP.[11]

Cizre basement massacre[edit]

Cizre basement massacre
Location Cizre, Şırnak, Turkey
Date 7 February 2016
Target Kurdish civilians
Attack type
Massacre, Arson
Deaths more than 150 killed (per RT)
178 killed (per IPPNW, İHD, ANF)
Perpetrator Flag of Turkey.svg Turkish security forces

The violence peaked on 7 February 2016, when more than 150 civilians were killed by Turkish security forces, reportedly many burnt alive.[12][13][14] The same sources claim that the evidence shows these were intentional massacres and deliberate executions that "cannot be explained only as a result of the fighting." Some of the claimed dead were allegedly children as young as nine to 10 years old. Some of the totally burned corpses could not be identified.[15][16]

As reported by IPPNW, according to the Human Rights Association 178 unarmed people were killed by the Turkish military and their bodies found in three basements.[17][18] The same is reported by Kurdish sources.[19][20]

Turkey called these accusations "baseless terror propaganda" used as "recruitment tools".[21] Turkish state media on the same day announced that "an operation had successfully neutralized several PKK militants".[22]

According to the UN Turkey refused to allow a UN team to conduct research in the area.[23][24][25]

The UN says it has reports that more than 100 people were burned to death while sheltering in basements in Cizre.[26]

There was no crime scene investigation and no judicial authority was allowed to enter the basements. Instead the Turkish authorities arranged that the ruins were flattened, the basements filled up with rubble, and bodies were taken away. Therefore, Human Rights Watch suspects a cover-up.[27][28]

In the media[edit]

 Turkey: There is no balanced coverage by Turkish media because of censorship in Turkey and Media blackouts. In particular with regard to the Kurdish–Turkish conflict, critical journalists in Turkey risk prosecution and imprisonment for 'terrorist propaganda'. This is barring a large part of the country from knowing what is going on in the Kurdish region. Articles of the Zaman newspaper on the Cizre basement massacre have become inaccessible after the March 2016 government takeover.[29]

 Russia: RT reported about the fighting and the massacre in Cizre. An RT crew traveled to the Cizre in March 2016 and filmed the devastation.[30][31] RT started a petition on Change.org.[32]

 Germany: Telepolis reported about this topic in several articles containing links to further information, there were also some reports on Deutsche Welle (see references).

 United Kingdom: The Guardian started to report in April 2016 about some incidents during the curfew. End of May there was a BBC report on the Cizre basement massacre.[33][34]

Reactions[edit]

 Russia: In March 2016 the Russian Foreign Ministry addressed the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights’ office, asking for it to investigate.[35]

 United Nations: On 10 May 2016 the UN high commissioner for human rights has voiced alarm about violence against civilians by Turkish government forces in Kurdish-majority south-eastern Turkey, in particular in Cizre, and expressed concern over the Turkish government’s refusal to allow a UN team to conduct research in the area.[36][37][38][39]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Turkey 'completes' bloody military operation in Kurdish town of Cizre". RT International. 12 February 2016.
  2. ^ "Shooting of Kurds waving white flag caught on camera (GRAPHIC VIDEO)". RT. 22 January 2016.
  3. ^ "Horrific video 'shows unarmed Kurds waving white flag shot dead by Turkish soldiers'". Mirror Online. 22 January 2016.
  4. ^ "Turkish security forces open fire on Kurds without warning". Guardian. 28 April 2016.
  5. ^ "Crackdown in Turkey's Kurdish south-east turns journalists into 'terrorists'". Guardian. 3 May 2016.
  6. ^ "Turkey: Zeid concerned by actions of security forces and clampdown on media". United Nations, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. 1 February 2016.
  7. ^ "U.N. urges Turkey to probe shooting of unarmed civilians (graphic images)". Reuters. 1 February 2016.
  8. ^ "Death toll rises among Kurds trapped in Cizre basement amid heavy fighting". DW. 29 January 2016.
  9. ^ "Hilferuf aus Cizre". telepolis. 4 February 2016.
  10. ^ "Cizre'deki yaralıların bulunduğu bodrum katından vahşetin ses kaydı". Cumhuriyet. 1 February 2016.
  11. ^ "Cizre'de bodrumda mahsur kalan Derya Koç: Yaralıları benzin döküp yaktılar". Cumhuriyet. 10 February 2016.
  12. ^ "'Burned to death, beheaded': Cizre Kurds accuse Erdogan's forces of civilian massacre". RT. 13 March 2016.
  13. ^ "Turkish forces accused of 'mass murder' in southeast". DW. 12 February 2016.
  14. ^ "In den Kellern von Cizre". telepolis. 11 February 2016.
  15. ^ "Die geheimen Todeskeller der Türkei". Arte. 11 March 2016.
  16. ^ "Les caves de la mort en Turquie". Arte. 11 March 2016.
  17. ^ "Türkeireise unter düsteren Vorzeichen". International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War. 15 March 2016.
  18. ^ "Mit EU-Türkei-Abkommen droht Erosion des Asylrechts". International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War. 16 March 2016.
  19. ^ "Cizre Basement Massacre: 101 of 178 Victims Yet to be Identified". Kurdish Question. 26 February 2016.
  20. ^ "Crisis Desk: 101 out of 178 Cizre victims yet to be identified". Firat News Agency. 26 February 2016.
  21. ^ http://aa.com.tr/en/turkey/erdogan-academics-claiming-massacre-make-pkk-propaganda-/508043
  22. ^ https://www.rt.com/news/335200-cizre-burned-beheaded-kurds-erdogan/
  23. ^ "Turkey dismisses UN alarm at alleged rights abuses in Kurdish region". The Guardian. 11 May 2016.
  24. ^ "'Alarming' reports of major violations in south-east Turkey – UN rights chief". United Nations. 10 May 2016.
  25. ^ "Need for transparency, investigations, in light of "alarming" reports of major violations in south-east Turkey". United Nations, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. 10 May 2016.
  26. ^ "UN deplores Turkish military abuses in Kurdish areas". BBC. 11 May 2016.
  27. ^ "Inside Cizre: Where Turkish forces stand accused of Kurdish killings". BBC. 23 May 2016.
  28. ^ "Cizre deaths leave unanswered questions". BBC. 23 May 2016.
  29. ^ "Pro-Kurdish DBP says 150 killed in Cizre since Feb. 7 (DELETED AFTER MARCH 2016 GOVERNMENT TAKEOVER OF ZAMAN NEWSPAPER)". TodaysZaman. 15 February 2016.
  30. ^ "RT crew films destruction in Kurdish town Cizre after Turkish military crackdown (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO)". RT. 13 March 2016.
  31. ^ "The road to Cizre: Entering the site of a massacre". RT. 17 March 2016.
  32. ^ "RT's #JusticeForKurds petition garners 10k signatures in matter of days". RT. 24 March 2016.
  33. ^ "Inside Cizre: Where Turkish forces stand accused of Kurdish killings". BBC. 23 May 2016.
  34. ^ "Cizre deaths leave unanswered questions". BBC. 23 May 2016.
  35. ^ "RT report on plight of Turkish Kurds prompts Russia to appeal to UN". RT. 23 March 2016.
  36. ^ "Need for transparency, investigations, in light of "alarming" reports of major violations in south-east Turkey". United Nations, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. 10 May 2016.
  37. ^ "'Alarming' reports of major violations in south-east Turkey – UN rights chief". United Nations. 10 May 2016.
  38. ^ "UN deplores Turkish military abuses in Kurdish areas". BBC. 11 May 2016.
  39. ^ "Turkey dismisses UN alarm at alleged rights abuses in Kurdish region". The Guardian. 11 May 2016.

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