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Civilian Casualties Mount as Turkey Continues Assault on Kurds

© REUTERS / Sertac KayarPeople look out from a building which was damaged during the security operations and clashes between Turkish security forces and Kurdish militants, in Sur district of Diyarbakir, Turkey, December 11, 2015.
People look out from a building which was damaged during the security operations and clashes between Turkish security forces and Kurdish militants, in Sur district of Diyarbakir, Turkey, December 11, 2015. - Sputnik International
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Kurds living under Turkish bombardment are denied access to fundamental services such as healthcare and education, while journalists and activists are denied access to the conflict areas by Turkish authorities, a human rights organization told Sputnik.

Turkish assaults on Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) targets have resulted in the death of scores of innocent civilians, and intolerable living conditions for civilians living in conflict areas under bombardment, Osman Isci, spokesman for the Human Rights Association (HRA), told Radio Sputnik.

​"Their right to life is violated, their right to health is violated because injured people or ill people cannot go to hospital and their rights to education and work are violated," said Isci.

Turkish army's tanks at the Turkey-Iraq border. File photo. - Sputnik International
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According to figures from the HRA, an NGO which works to advance human rights in Turkey, 179 Kurdish civilians lost their lives between July 24 and September 22 this year after Turkey began an air campaign against the PKK, which operates inside Turkey and in northern Iraq.

"Some of them were killed by security forces, some of them were killed due to bomb explosions, some of them were killed by militants as well."

"Life conditions are severe, people have no chance to go out, people fear because this violent atmosphere affects everyone, or almost everyone in the region because although there are four or five ongoing curfews, the whole region is under attack."

Relatives of Siyar Salman mourn over his grave during a funeral ceremony in the Kurdish dominated southeastern city of Diyarbakir, Turkey, December 15, 2015. According to local media, Salman, a 19-year old man, was killed on Monday in Diyarbakir during a protest against the curfew in Sur district. - Sputnik International
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Isci said that media coverage of the dire humanitarian situation is limited because of the Turkish government's refusal to allow journalists or independent human rights organizations access to the conflict zones. Instead, his and similar organization rely on reports from people living there.

"We are trying to document these violations on a daily basis but unfortunately due to this ongoing violence and blockade from the authorities we are not allowed to enter this area."

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