Turkey Blockades Kurdish Town of Silopi, Pushing Kurds Out of Cizre

© AP Photo / Mahmut BozarslanBackdropped by a Turkish forces armoured personnel carrier, residents walk around after the 24-hour curfew was lifted, in the mostly-Kurdish town of Silopi, in southeastern Turkey, near the border with Iraq, Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016
Backdropped by a Turkish forces armoured personnel carrier, residents walk around after the 24-hour curfew was lifted, in the mostly-Kurdish town of Silopi, in southeastern Turkey, near the border with Iraq, Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016 - Sputnik International
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The Kurdish town of Silopi in southeastern Turkey is under a blockade, with a curfew in place at the moment, and the authorities are trying to drive the Kurds from the town of Cizre, Dirayet Tasdemir, a member of the Turkish parliament from the Kurdish People's Democratic Party, told Sputnik on Thursday.

Masked members of YDG-H, youth wing of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), sit next to their weapons in Silvan, near the southeastern city of Diyarbakir, Turkey, August 17, 2015 - Sputnik International
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) "Now the town of Silopi [in the southeastern Sirnak province] is under a blockade and a curfew. Yesterday evening a building with civilians was shelled, and eight people died, including a 50-year-old woman and a child," Tasdemir said.

She added that 16 civilians had been killed in the Sirnak province.

Tensions between Ankara and the Kurds escalated in July 2015 as fighting between the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the Kurdish pro-independence organization considered to be terrorist by Ankara, and the Turkish army resumed. Ankara has imposed several round-the-clock curfews in Kurdish-populated towns, preventing civilians from fleeing the regions where the military operations are taking place.

"In Cizre at the moment four districts are totally destroyed. Ten thousand houses are in a completely unlivable condition, including those buildings that did not come under shelling. But the Turkish troops entered those houses, marauded and made everything they could to make the buildings unlivable, on purpose," Tasdemir said.

"They want to clean the place from the Kurds," she added.

In 2013, the Turkish government initiated a peace process with the PKK. Talks were jeopardized in 2014, as Ankara was reluctant to help Kurds to fight the Islamic State terrorist group, outlawed in many countries, including Russia, when the jihadist group attacked the city of Kobani. The city remained under the siege by IS militants from September 2014 until January 2015, which caused some 400,000 Kurds to flee into Turkey.

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