HDP files complaint against days-long curfew in Sur

In their statement to the press outside the Diyarbakir Courthouse, Kisanak stated families living in Sur are having difficulties acquiring food due to the curfew. She called for peace and an end to the ongoing violence and for a solution to stop the mounting death toll.

“Nowhere in the world has peace and security been brought with tanks, armored vehicles and heavy weaponry. Public safety can be brought with peace, democracy, freedom and political discussion,” stated Kisanak.

In a related incident, bomb disposal expert Haydar Cetin, who was killed when terrorist PKK members fired at security forces in an attempt to detonate explosives placed in a historic mosque in Sur, was buried following his funeral prayer in Ankara on Thursday.

Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus, Interior Minister Efkan Ala, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli attended the funeral.

Deaths toll rises in clashes in Southeast, reaches 523

According to statistics published by the Human Rights Association (İHD) and the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TİHV), 171 officers and members of the security forces, 195 militants and 157 civilians were killed between Jan. 1 and Dec. 5, bringing the current death toll to 523.

According to HDP Diyarbakir deputy İdris Baluken, 78 civilians died during curfews, the bianet.org news portal recently reported.

In the last six months, six cities in 17 districts have had curfews enforced for at least 163 days. Since the dissolution of the peace process between the state and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the aftermath of the June 7 election, curfews preventing civilians from going out have frequently been implemented in predominately Kurdish-populated Diyarbakir, Elazig, Hakkari, Mardin, Mus and Sirnak.

Security forces have been conducting operations against Patriotic Revolutionist Youth Movement (YDG-H) militants and many civilians have been caught in clashes between the two. Local businesses, homes, schools and even historic monuments have fallen victim to these clashes.

The greatest number of curfews was implemented in the province of Diyarbakir: There have been curfews in at least 102 districts, most of which were in Nusaybin, Silvan, Cizre and Derik. The longest uninterrupted curfews took place in Nusaybin with 14 days, Silvan with 12 days and Cizre and Derik with nine days.

Nusaybin has been under curfew the longest in total with 29 days where people were prevented from leaving their homes under three different curfew periods. Furthermore, the district of Silvan has the most frequent curfews on seven different occasions, Bianet said.

In recent developments, three militants were killed in clashes in Nusaybin district in Mardin around 2:45 p.m. on Wednesday during clashes that took place between the PKK and security forces.

In Sanliurfa, police teams detained 10 political figures and activists for acting in violation of the Law on Public Meetings and Demonstration. HDP district Co-chair Ridvan Yavuz, Democratic Regions Party (DBP) district Co-chair Leyla Coskun, İHD district Co-chair Atilla Yazar were among those taken in.

In other news, an operation involving 20 armored vehicles took place to detain two suspected militants in Pehlivan neighborhood in Hakkari on Wednesday evening.

Meanwhile, four PKK shelters were found during an operation in Bingol’s Genc district. The shelters were storing a number of explosives and supplies. In a statement published by the Bingol Governor’s Office, three kilograms of TNT, 200-meter-long cables, two homemade explosives, four small propane gas supplies, one accumulator, five kilograms of ammonium nitrate, eight large batteries and 10 pairs of shoes, one tent and along with food and other supplies were found.

HDP deputies request parliamentary investigation into mosque fire

HDP deputy Baluken and Caglar Demirel have requested a parliamentary investigation into the damaging fire on a historic mosque in Sur district. The historic Fatih Pasa Mosque in Diyarbakir was damaged by fire on Monday as a result of clashes between PKK militants and security forces during the sixth day of an ongoing curfew.

The mosque, built between 1516 and 1520, caught fire on Monday morning. Calls to the fire department were made around 10 a.m., but firefighters were unable to enter the area for a long time due to security concerns. There were also calls for firefighters for a few homes in the Sur district, but firefighters were unable to combat the flames.

There are several other priceless, historic monuments situated within the same neighborhood, such as the Four-Legged Minaret adjacently located Seyh Mutahhar Mosque, which was built in 1500; the Great Mosque of Diyarbakir established in 1901, the Syriac Church of the Virgin Mary dating back to the third century and which underwent major rebuilding in the 18th century, the Hasan Pasa Han built in 1572 and the Surp Giragos Armenian Church originally established in the 17th century and rebuilt in the 1880s.

The HDP deputies stated it is important to protect the priceless historic and religious monuments that are being destroyed by the ongoing combat in city’s old district.