Turkish gov’t imposes curfew in over 30 villages in Bitlis province

People walk by the bombed buildings after the clashes between Turkish army and outlawed Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) members in Şırnak following a curfew declared in 2016.

Turkish government imposed a round-the-clock curfew on Wednesday in at least 35 villages in Bitlis province as Turkish security forces have launched an operation against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants in the area.

Bitlis’ Governor Office has said in a press release on its website that the indefinite curfew in the mountainous province is meant to capture PKK militants. However, no details regarding the size and scope of the military operation were mentioned. Among the villages under curfew, 27 are in the central district whereas 8 others are in the Mutki district.

Since the revival of the decades-long PKK-Turkish state conflict in the aftermath of the mid-2015 collapse of a round of peace talks between the two sides, authorities on hundreds of occasions have enforced, at times months-long curfews in scores of Kurdish provinces.

Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TİHV) has stated on early August that at least 252 officially confirmed round-the-clock and open-ended curfews have violated the rights of 1,809,000 people in 11 provinces of dominantly Kurdish populated sourtheastern Turkey. The statement said that many fundamental rights including the right to live of the residents have been violated by Turkish government and Turkish security forces.

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