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    Ruined houses and buildings are seen in Cizre, Turkey, Wednesday, March 2, 2016.

    Residents of Besieged Cizre Return Home After Turkey's Offensive

    © AP Photo / Emrah Gurel
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    On Wednesday, at 5:00 a.m. a curfew was eased in the area of Cizre in the province of Sirnak in southeastern Turkey. It lasted for 80 days.

    Residents of Cizre who were forced to leave their homes due to the rising violence in the region are now returning to the town. A Sputnik correspondent took pictures showing Cizre residents returning to their homes.

    Due to bolstered security measures and strict police control, giant traffic jams occurred on the roads leading to Cizre. The curfew will operate from 7:30 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. until a new warning is issued.
    © Sputnik / Ömer Faruk Baran
    Due to bolstered security measures and strict police control, giant traffic jams occurred on the roads leading to Cizre. The curfew will operate from 7:30 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. until a new warning is issued.

    Turkey began enforcing a curfew in Kurdish regions of southeastern Turkey last December.

    Many Cizre residents for the first time saw their homes destroyed during the 80-day curfew.
    © Sputnik / Ömer Faruk Baran
    Many Cizre residents for the first time saw their homes destroyed during the 80-day curfew.

    The move has come under harsh criticism from rights groups and led to massive protests within the affected communities.

    A resident of Cizre sits next to his ruined and burned house.
    © Sputnik / Ömer Faruk Baran
    A resident of Cizre sits next to his ruined and burned house.

    "It is known that in Diyarbakir's Sur, the military is conducting an operation. That is, there is now a real war. Similarly, in Cizre, where, according to our estimates, the military has killed more than 200 civilians. The death toll among the civilian population in the area Sur already stands at about 100 people. In addition, about 130 people are injured and waiting to be saved," head of Turkey's Human Rights Association Öztürk Türkdoğan told Sputnik.

    According to media reports, 32 bodies were found in the basement floor of a house destroyed during bombings in the Cudi district.
    © Sputnik . Ömer Faruk Baran
    According to media reports, 32 bodies were found in the basement floor of a house destroyed during bombings in the Cudi district.

    On February 11, Turkey's Interior Minister Efkan Ala said that Turkish security forces had finalized the anti-terrorist operation in Cizre.

    When they returned home Cizre residents found burned bodies inside some houses.
    © Sputnik / Ömer Faruk Baran
    When they returned home Cizre residents found burned bodies inside some houses.

    In summer 2015, Turkey initiated a military campaign against the PKK militant group in the country's southeastern regions, mostly inhabited by Kurds.

    The world never witnessed atrocities like this. Some burned bodies were dismembered and thrown in the Euphrates, pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) lawmaker Faysal Sariyildiz from the province of Sirnak said.
    © Sputnik / Ömer Faruk Baran
    "The world never witnessed atrocities like this. Some burned bodies were dismembered and thrown in the Euphrates," pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) lawmaker Faysal Sariyildiz from the province of Sirnak said.

    Since the beginning of the campaign, Ankara has imposed several round-the-clock curfews, preventing civilians from fleeing the regions where the military operations are taking place.

    Burned shops
    © Sputnik / Ömer Faruk Baran
    Burned shops

    The death toll during special operations in Turkey’s Kurdistan could reach upwards to 5,000 people.

    In some buildings, there is still some property which has not been destroyed. Residents are moving it to other buildings.
    © Sputnik / Ömer Faruk Baran
    In some buildings, there is still some property which has not been destroyed. Residents are moving it to other buildings.
    A ruined building in Cizre.
    © Sputnik / Ömer Faruk Baran
    A ruined building in Cizre.

    According to Kurdish politicians, the issue of Turkey’s Kurdistan needs to be brought before the UN Security Council.

    A woman in front of her ruined house: Where do we go now?
    © Sputnik / Ömer Faruk Baran
    A woman in front of her ruined house: "Where do we go now?"
    After 80 days of clashes.
    © Sputnik / Ömer Faruk Baran
    After 80 days of clashes.

    The issue of Kurdish nationalism has for a long time been problematic for Turkey, with the country's security forces locked in a 40-year conflict with Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants — a battle which has intensified once again in the past eight months.

    Related:

    Turkish Authorities Attack Curfew Protests, Dozens Arrested
    Situation in Turkey's Kurdistan 'Should Be Reviewed by UNSC'
    Turkey's 'Hidden War' Against Kurds May Be Deadlier Than Syria
    Kurdish Women Protest in France, Draw Attention to Turkey's Atrocities
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    curfew, Kurds, military operation, Cizre, Turkey
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