Turkish officials are cheering another round of violent military crackdowns against the country’s Kurdish southeast, reporting that they killed at least 32 Kurds, all dubbed “militants,” over the weekend.
A gunbattle was even reported in the city of Diyarbakir, one of the most populous in the Kurdish-dominated region, with a Turkish soldier and a police officer reported killed in an ambush first involving explosives and then gunfire.
Turkey has been fighting a war against the secessionist Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) since 1984, but had a period of truce that extended into this summer, before being scrapped by the Erdogan government in favor of a new offensive.
The new war has included a broad crackdown against Kurdish towns and cities, with military-imposed curfews and raids killing scores of civilians. The Turkish government has responded to growing protests by cracking down on the pro-minority opposition.
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu touted the new offensive and the death toll as proof that the government will not relent until the entire nation is “cleansed of these killers.”