Home | Breaking News | Turkey-PKK conflict ‘has killed 2,000’ since truce collapsed – UN
Buildings in the town of Cizre suffered heavy damage in fighting last year

Turkey-PKK conflict ‘has killed 2,000’ since truce collapsed – UN

WT24 Desk

The UN has accused Turkish forces of serious violations during unrest in the south-east of the country that left 2,000 dead less than 18 months, BBC reports.

Up to 500,000 people, mostly Kurds, were displaced between July 2015 and December 2016, a UN report said.

Meanwhile, satellite imagery showed the “enormous scale of destruction of the housing stock by heavy weaponry”.

A two-year-old ceasefire between Turkey and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) broke down in July 2015.

In the period that followed, UN investigators documented thousands of killings, disappearances and cases of torture during government operations that affected more than 30 towns and neighbourhoods. The most serious abuses took place during periods of curfew imposed for several days at a time.

UN rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein criticised the Turkish government, saying he was “particularly concerned by reports that no credible investigation has been conducted”.

He said the government had “contested the veracity of the very serious allegations made in this report”. The administration of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has not commented independently on the findings.

The UN Human Rights Office report relied on confidential and public accounts, satellite imagery and other sources because the Turkish government has failed to grant investigators access to the areas affected by anti-PKK operations.

It did receive information from the government indicating the PKK, which the administration considers a terrorist organisation, “had conducted a number of violent attacks that caused deaths and injuries among Turkish security forces and other individuals”.

The PKK has also been involved, according to the government, in “kidnappings, including of children; digging trenches and placing roadblocks in cities and towns; and preventing medical services from delivering emergency health services”.

Turkey has been fighting a Kurdish insurgency in its south-east for decades.

The PKK launched an armed struggle against the Turkish government in 1984, calling for an independent Kurdish state within Turkey.

Since then, tens of thousands of people have died. A surge in violence since the ceasefire broke down in 2015 has seen militants attacking security forces, while the army has been besieging Kurdish-dominated towns.

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