MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Turkish authorities should solve its disagreements with the Kurds by political means and avoid the use of force, Russia's Foreign Ministry said Wednesday.
"We are concerned by the escalation of violence in southeastern Turkey, caused by Turkish authorities' ongoing military operation in Kurdish provinces. Human rights groups report numerous civilian victims, including women and children," the ministry said in a statement.
"The solution to the Kurdish issue lies in the political arena. The use of force in internal conflicts only leads to new victims and an escalation of tensions with unpredictable consequences," the statement reads.
The ministry noted active curfews, transportation bans, as well as access denials for reporters, politicians and humanitarian groups, citing various estimates as saying over 100,000 people have fled southeastern Turkey.
The Kurdish minority's strained relations with Turkey have deteriorated further after government officials labeled a senior pro-Kurdish party official a traitor for visiting Moscow last week to speak with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
Human Rights Watch, following reports by local rights groups of over 100 civilian deaths among Kurdish civilians, urged the Turkish government last week to stop the "abusive and disproportionate" use of force against the minority group.