The Diyarbakir governorate has announced new military curfews in the Silvan district. Photo: AFP file photo
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region—Turkey imposed new military curfews in Diyarbakir’s Silvan district on Thursday.
The curfews took effect at 4am Thursday morning in 13 neighbourhoods in the Silvan district, a largely rural area east of Diyarbakir in the mainly Kurdish southeast of the country.
A statement on the website of the Governorate of Diyarbakir said the purpose of the operation was to neutralize terror elements in the mountainous and forested areas, which it believes are a hideout for BTÖ (separatist terrorist organization) members.
Entering and exiting the areas under curfew is prohibited. The curfews will be in place until further notice, the statement said.
The villages subject to curfew are Ormandışı, Babakaya, Çatak, Kayadere, Gürpınar, Arıköy, Taşpınar, Çiğdemli, Demirkuyu, Kazandağı, Bahçe, Eskiocak, and Çatakköprü.
In August, following renewal of the conflict with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), the Turkish army began operations in the largely Kurdish southeast of the country, imposing military curfews on cities and towns as it engaged in street-to-street clashes with Kurdish guerillas, youth wings of the PKK.
A recent report from Human Rights Watch condemned Ankara for denying the monitoring organization access to the regions affected by the curfews. Human Rights Watch and the United Nations are endeavouring to investigate allegations of mass human rights violations, including extrajudicial killings, disproportionate use of force, and willful destruction of civilian property.
Ankara has justified its military curfews under the Provincial Administration Law, which allows governors to make decisions to ensure “peace and security, protection of the person, public well-being.”
Turkey argues that it is defending itself from terrorism. The PKK has been named a terrorist group by Turkey, the European Union, and the United States.