February 29, 2016
Turkey Health Minister Mehmet Müezzinoğlu has said that 355,000 Kurdish people have fled from Turkey’s Kurdish Southeast to other cities across Turkey since the beginning of December 2015 due to military operations in SE against Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Speaking at a Justice and Development Party (AK Party) meeting in Bursa on Saturday, Müezzinoğlu said that following the June 7, 2015 parliamentary election, the authorities have been imposing curfews in the districts of Cizre and Silopi in Şırnak province and Sur in Diyarbakır province.
The operations in Cizre and Silopi have since finished, with the curfew in Silopi being lifted in January, while the curfew imposed on Dec. 14, 2015 in Cizre is still in place. The anti-PKK offensive in Sur is still ongoing, along with a curfew.
“So far, 355,000 people [from the Southeast] have left their homes.
A settlement process launched by the government in 2012 to end Turkey’s long-standing Kurdish problem came to an end in late July 2015 by ruling AK party. The end of the two-year cease-fire triggered the worst violence seen in the region in two decades.
The Turkish Human Rights Foundation (TİHV) said in a report in January that, as of Jan. 24, at least 250 civilians, including 39 children, have died in the Kurdish areas under curfew since August 2015.