Saturday, March 11, 2017

UN accuses Turkey of ‘serious’ abuses

The UN on Friday accused Turkish security forces of committing serious abuses during operations against Kurdish militants in southeast Turkey after a cease-fire collapsed in July 2015.

A report from the UN rights office details evidence of "massive destruction, killings and numerous other serious human rights violations committed between July 2015 and December 2016 in southeast Turkey."

"Government security operations" have targeted more than 30 towns and displaced 355,000 to half a million people, mostly Kurds, it said.

The outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) has waged an insurgency against Turkey since 1984, though the violence was contained during the truce agreed in 2013.

But fighting resumed when the cease-fire fell apart in summer 2015.

Satellite images of areas affected by the latest unrest "indicate an enormous scale of destruction of the housing stock by heavy weaponry," the report said, with some neighborhoods "razed to the ground."

In Cizre, a mainly Kurdish town on the Syrian border, residents described the devastation of neighborhoods as "apocalyptic," the UN said.

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