21 Civilians Killed in Turkish Military Curfew on Cizre

Military Forbids Opposition MPs From Attending Protest March

The city of Cizre, Turkey has been under a state of full military curfew for a solid week now, and while the Interior Ministry is championing this policy, claiming that they’ve managed to kill dozens of PKK fighters, reports emerging from the city suggest a rising civilian toll, with at least 21 civilians killed so far in the operation.

“In Cizre, 120,000 people have been held hostage by the state for a week,” noted a top figure in the opposition HDP, who also noted that the slain civilians are being stored “on ice” in the city because the military won’t even let anybody carry out a burial.

Cizre is the biggest of several cities, towns, and villages under a state of military curfew, all Kurdish dominated, and is just the latest in a flurry of reports of military and police violence against the civilians living in those areas.

The HDP attempted to hold a protest against the curfew in Cizre, but the military prevented them from doing so, forbidding them to even drive to the city. When they attempted to march to the city, some 55 miles from the Iraqi border, they were again blocked, this time by police with riot shields.

This is nothing new: the Turkish government is notoriously averse to public shows of dissent. Yet as they continue to talk up the “accomplishments” of these curfews, and vow to leave hundreds of thousands of civilians in such a state, they are risking growing resentment from the Kurdish minority, and escalating the low-level war against the PKK into a full-scale civil war against a significant ethnic minority.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.