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Amnesty International Condemns Turkey's Treatment of Kurds

  • Dorian Jones

A resident walks on the rubble of a destroyed house in the mostly Kurdish town of Silopi, Turkey, Jan. 19, 2016. Turkey's president has ruled out any further peace efforts with Kurdish rebels.

A resident walks on the rubble of a destroyed house in the mostly Kurdish town of Silopi, Turkey, Jan. 19, 2016. Turkey's president has ruled out any further peace efforts with Kurdish rebels.

The British based human rights group Amnesty International has strongly condemned Turkey’s crackdown on Kurdish rebels, accusing the government of collective punishment against the people living in the predominantly Kurdish southeast.

Amnesty International’s report accuses Turkish security forces of using reckless force with little disregard for civilians lives in military operations against the Kurdish rebel group the PKK.

Alarming situation

Amnesty Turkey researcher Andrew Gardner says the situation is alarming.

"What we have seen, people who killed who are clearly not fighters, old people, young children, these killings are perpetrated by state forces either of which is targeted or in a way which is reckless," he said.

The Amnesty report condemned the widespread use of 24 hour curfews imposed across much of the predominantly Kurdish southeast, in many cases lasting for weeks. Amnesty’s Gardner says the report calls the curfews collective punishment.

Impact on people's lives

"The impact on the ordinary people living in these areas is in immense, people unable to access emergency health care, not even able to leave their house to get their food, severe cuts to water including drinking water, and electricity. Really a situation which amounts to collective punishment against the tens and thousands of people living in these areas," he said.

FILE - Turkish riot police use a water cannon to disperse Kurdish demonstrators during a protest against a curfew in Sur district and security operations in the region, in the southeastern city of Diyarbakir, Turkey, Jan. 17, 2016.

FILE - Turkish riot police use a water cannon to disperse Kurdish demonstrators during a protest against a curfew in Sur district and security operations in the region, in the southeastern city of Diyarbakir, Turkey, Jan. 17, 2016.

Ankara insists all is being done to insure civilian safety, and that it has the right to fight to terrorism. The PKK is designated as a terrorist organization by both Washington and the European Union. Amnesty International also criticized the failure of the international community to sufficiently condemn the ongoing operations.

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