Tanks and armored vehicles deployed by the central government created unbearable conditions for the local population. As result of the offensive, over 200 Kurdish militants were killed, while more than 200,000 Kurds are fleeing Turkey amid increased violence.
During the rally, the activists demanded that the Turkish authorities stop their aggression. They fear that the Ankara government can put the country on the brink of a civil war and accused the army of acting with indiscriminate impunity.
The Ankara government and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) have been involved in an exhausting conflict since 1984 when the Kurds first declared an insurgency in Turkey to create an independent Kurdish state.
The group continues to work for regional autonomy and ordinary citizens’ rights for Kurds, but is being viewed by the central government as a rebel and terrorist organization.
The current "anti-terrorist" operation indicates a new stage in the long-lasting standoff between Turkish President Erdogan’s authority and the PKK, after a two-year truce between the conflicting parties collapsed in July.