As Nusaybin curfew enters 13th day, locals use white flags amid clashes

The authorities placed Nusaybin under a round-the-clock curfew on Nov. 13 that remains in place as security forces clear trenches and barricades from the streets.

Guns have not been silent in Nusaybin since the curfew was imposed. The clashes between Turkish security forces and members of the Patriotic Revolutionary Youth Movement (YDG-H) — an affiliate of the terrorist PKK — continue across the district, in particular three neighborhoods where the skirmishes have intensified. The curfew has forced residents to live as if they are in prison for the past two weeks. There have been power and water cuts for days in the district, leaving locals to suffer dire living conditions. The only way for them to go outside is to wave white flags. Some using white flags have been able to take the injured to hospitals by ambulance.

In the meantime, a civilian was killed and three people– two of whom are police officers — were injured during the ongoing clashes in Nusaybin on Wednesday. The civilian, Sedat Gungor (21) — who was shot in the Yenisehir neighborhood — died at the scene. Another civilian, Sultan Savur, was injured during a confrontation in the district’s Fırat neighborhood. She was taken to the hospital for treatment. Two injured police officers are also undergoing treatment.

In a related incident, a group of protesters staged a demonstration in Nusaybin to condemn the days-long curfew in the district on Wednesday but were met with police tear gas and water cannons. Among the protesters was pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Mardin deputy Ali Atalan, who told the press that locals cannot meet their basic needs due to the curfew, saying that garbage cannot be collected and this creates a high possibility for epidemics to break out in the district.

Numerous civilians have been killed during clashes between security forces and the PKK in southeastern towns and cities since late July. Curfews, some of which have lasted for more than a week, were imposed on several tense districts in the provinces of Diyarbakır, Hakkari, Mardin, Sırnak and Van. According to a report released by the Human Rights Association (İHD) in October, more than 100 civilians have been killed in the region since late July.

Turkey began pounding PKK targets in southeastern Anatolia and northern Iraq on July 24 after two police officers were killed by the terrorist group apparently in retaliation for a suicide bombing on July 20 that killed 33 pro-Kurdish activists and was blamed on the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Violence has escalated sharply since then, with the PKK stepping up attacks on security forces in southeastern Anatolia. The terrorist group has also been blocking many roads in the region.

In the meantime, seven people suspected of being members of the PKK were detained in the Nusaybin and Kızıltepe districts of Mardin on Wednesday.

The Mardin Police Department Counterterrorism Unit conducted simultaneous raids in both districts. Five of the suspects were detained from the Mezopotamya and İpek neighborhoods of the Kızıltepe district and two others were detained in Nusaybin.


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