Turkey’s Week-Long Offensive Kills 200 Rebels, 150 Civilians

Turkey has been engaged in a war against the PKK for months now, but really picked up the pace in the past week, imposing full-scale curfews on Kurdish towns in the southeast, and engaging in increasingly indiscriminate shelling and sniper fire against those population centers.

The past week, according to rights groups, has seen about 200 rebels killed, along with 150 slain civilians. This sort of huge civilian toll is only adding to opposition Kurdish groups who were previously peaceful but are increasingly endorsing the rebellion as just resistance.

The Erdogan government has ruled out allowing the Kurds or anyone else carving an independent state out of Turkish soil, but as the fighting grows so too do the calls for self-rule in Kurdistan, and less and less faith in Turkey ever treating the Kurdish minority equitably.

Rights groups are warning that there are likely to be further precipitous rises in civilian deaths as the offensive continues, as curfewed towns are left without electricity, running water or food shipments, and anyone who goes outside to seek medical help or for any other reason becomes an instant military target.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.