With police helicopters looming overhead, punctuated by intermittent explosions, hundreds of Kurdish civilians fled from the Sur District of the Turkish city of Diyarbakir after the military expanded their curfew into the district of the predominantly Kurdish city.
Turkey has imposed curfews on multiple Kurdish cities in the nation’s southeast, blockading districts and shooting at anything that moves. A number of civilians have been killed in the crackdown, according to human rights groups, though the Turkish government has labeled all the slain “terrorists.”
The expansion of the curfew saw yet more fighting, with at least 24 people killed, including four Turkish soldiers, and 20 Kurds, who officially were all labeled “PKK terrorists” following the operation.
The expansion of the curfews only added to criticism from human rights groups, who reiterated calls for the Turkish military to allow ambulances into curfew zones to rescue the wounded. So far, the wounded have had to rely on civilian vehicles to evacuate, though often those vehicles end up attacked too.
The Sirnak Governor’s office spurned the call to let ambulances in, saying the ambulances couldn’t safely get into the cities, and saying the Kurds were “ignoring” their calls to bring the wounded to locations outside of the cities.