Plumes of smoke rising from the town of Silopi in southeastern Turkey on August 07, 2015. Photo: Rudaw
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — Four civilians were killed and dozens wounded in skirmishes between Kurdish demonstrators and Turkish police in the town of Silopi in Turkey's southeast province of Sirnak on Friday.
“Five houses have been burned by Turkish police and the Turkish officials shut down the only hospital in the town. Right now, wounded people are being transferred to Sirnak hospital,” Ferhat Encu, People Democratic Party (HDP) parliamentarian in Sirank, told Rudaw.
On Tuesday, three Turkish soldiers were reportedly killed and two other wounded by a blast in the predominantly Kurdish city of Sirnak. Immediately after the blast, Turkish state media reported that a mine, allegedly laid on a road by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), was the cause of the casualties.
Two days before the Sirnak attack two other Turkish soldiers were killed and 24 others wounded in a suspected suicide attack in eastern Agri province, an attack for which PKK claimed responsibility.
Tension in Turkey has escalated since late July when Ankara joined international coalition forces to fight the Islamic State, or ISIS. Turkey, which had been reluctant to fight the extremists near its borders, reversed its position and announced that it had initiated a military campaign against terrorism. The campaign has included the PKK which has been targeted by Turkish warplanes.
The recent airstrikes have coincided with waves of demonstrations in ethnically Kurdish towns in Turkey and have possibly brought to a halt to the shaky peace agreement reached between Ankara and the PKK in 2013.