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Toddler among those arrested in Turkey's Kurdish south-east

A TWO-YEAR-OLD was among those detained by Turkish security services today after three residents were killed in military attacks in the largely Kurdish south-east.

An indefinite military curfew was declared in the early hours in the Lice and Hazro districts of Diyarbakir, the unofficial Kurdish capital of Turkey.

Sources on the ground confirmed to the Star that the rural areas of Hazro were blockaded by hundreds of armoured military vehicles following air strikes at about 4am.

They reported that the aerial onslaught by army helicopters damaged a number of buildings, with villagers complaining of burning in their throats, nausea and dizziness.

Turkish security forces raided a number of homes and detained four people — Yahya Tekin, Mulkiye Tekin and their children, including their two-year-old daughter Roza.

Government-appointed Diyarbakir governor Cumali Atilla confirmed the curfew had been imposed to ensure the “safety and property of our citizens.”

In a statement the governor’s office said the military were “trying to neutralise the members of the separatist terrorist organisation [the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK)] and its collaborators,” claiming that they were active in the surrounding mountains and forests.

It said the raids on the homes in Hazro targeted those who were sheltering senior PKK members.

However, locals reported to the Star that the armed forces opened fire on a number of houses, including that of the Tekins, where bullet holes were visible on the walls.

A delegation of officials from the opposition People’s Democratic Party (HDP) including MPs Remziye Tosun, Musa Farisogullari and Selcuk Mızrakli and HDP provincial co-chair Mehmet Serif Camci went to inspect the area, which has long been a target for Turkey’s security services, today and raised concerns over its militarisation.

The Diyarbakir branch of the Human Rights Association produced a report earlier this month that detailed the 16 curfews imposed in 282 villages and neighbourhoods of 12 eastern and south-eastern cities since peace negotiations between the Turkish government and the PKK broke down in 2015.

The curfews are the latest escalation by Turkish security services, who have conducted a number of air strikes in the south-east of the country, and fires continue to rage in Dersim amid allegations that the forests are being deliberately targeted to force villagers out of their homes in what has been described as a genocide against the Kurdish population.


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