February 5, 2016
We, the Peoples’ Democratic Party Headquarters, would like to share our alarming concern regarding the systematic violation of basic human rights and fundamental freedoms in Kurdish towns and cities that have been ruled under round-the-clock curfews by Turkeys ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Government. This curfew practice, promulgated by AKP Government starting in August 16, 2015, is a no mere breach of the fundamental principals of international humanitarian law. It is also in violation of Turkey’s very own Constitutional law and order.
The town of Cizre, Şırnak province, is one site where state-sponsored violence and rights-violations have reached their peak. During the last fifty-four-day-long uninterrupted round-the-clock curfew, seventy five identified civilians and more than twenty unidentified citizens have been killed over the course of heavy bombardments by security forces. On January 23, a military bombardment left a total of thirty one civilians, most of them wounded, stuck in the cellar of an apartment. Since then, our countless efforts directed at the AKP Government for the secure transfer of the wounded to hospitals have remained unanswered, while bombardments of the area continued unabated leaving seven of the wounded dead. The remaining twenty-four survivors continue to fight for their lives without any access to physical security or medical provision in that cellar of horror.
As this unbearable human tragedy continues, we have been overwhelmed by another tragic news from Cizre since yesterday. According to the reports confirmed by our Headquarters, a building located in Cudi neighborhood was set alight on February 4, 2016 over the course of a concerted military operation by mortars and heavy arms, and thirty seven residents remained stuck in the fire.
We have been contacting the AKP Government for the urgent rescue of these residents from the building. The HDP Parliamentary Group Deputy Chair, Mr. Idris Baluken, officially contacted the Turkish Ministry of Interior representatives to take initiative for the rescue of these citizens, while the HDP Deputy for Şırnak province Mr. Faysal Sarıyıldız took personal initiative to direct the municipal fire engines to the area only asking the Government to prevent security forces from obstructing the engines passage. Despite, the promises made by the Ministry of Interior, security units stationed at the locality has so far prevented any rescue efforts at the area. As the fire in the building continues, we have confirmed the deaths of nine residents including two children, and we are extremely concerned about the lives of twenty-seven survivors who are reportedly severely burnt.
Within such context of further impending tragedies, we call on international humanitarian organizations and public opinion to take urgent and effective initiative to urge the Turkish Government to take immediate action to rescue the survivors of military operations in Cizre, put an immediate end to curfews in Kurdish towns and cities that bring more death and suffering every passing hour, and comply with basic principals of humanitarian law towards its Kurdish citizens. We would like to emphasize that the continued indifference of international community toward state sponsored violence and terror, would render Turkeys Kurdish community even more vulnerable to persecution and suffering en masse.
Vice Co-chair in Charge of Foreign Affairs of Peoples’ Democratic Party
Deputy for Bingöl