ANKARA (Sputnik) — Turkish security forces completed an anti-terrorist operation in the mainly Kurdish town of Cizre, located in Sirnak Province in Anatolia in the southeast of the country, Interior Minister Efkan Ala said Thursday.
"As of today, the anti-terrorist operation in Cizre is compete. [The security forces] have secured control there, though the curfew will remain in place for some time," Ala said, as quoted by the NTV broadcaster.
In December 2015, the Turkish authorities declared a curfew in a number of southeastern regions where armed clashes between Ankara forces and Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK)'s fighters continue. The Turkish General Staff has said that about 850 Kurdish militants have been killed since mid-December. Kurdish activists, in turn, argue that most of the dead were civilian victims.
The Kurds, Turkey's largest ethnic minority, are striving to create their own independent state. The PKK was founded in the late 1970s to promote the self-determination for the Kurdish community and is considered to be a terrorist organization by the Turkish authorities.
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