Turkish government bloodbath in Cizre town, solidarity demonstration


This video says about itself:

Pro-Kurdish protesters clash with police in Turkey

26 July 2015

Clashes between pro-Kurdish protesters and police broke out in the southeastern province of Cizre on Sunday night. The unrest came after the funeral of a protester killed in demonstrations against military strikes targeting PKK camps in northern Iraq.

From Dutch daily De Volkskrant (translated):

Nobody is allowed to enter Turkish town, ‘civilians are shot’

“A bloodbath threatens in Cizre. At least 25 civilians have been killed, including a baby of six weeks old,” says Bozo Bilal Acar from the besieged town Cizre in southeast Turkey. “There are snipers on the roofs shooting at civilians. I myself was a few times almost hit by them.”

By: Sacha Kester September 11, 2015, 18:22

On Saturday 12 September (today), at 15:00, there will be a solidarity demonstration with the people of Cizre, starting on the Malieveld in The Hague, the Netherlands.

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39 thoughts on “Turkish government bloodbath in Cizre town, solidarity demonstration

  1. KURDISTAN DIRECT:

    Detentions and arrests continue ceaselessly

    Dozens are detained and arrested on daily basis as part of the political genocide operations against the Kurdish population in Northern Kurdistan.

    As the AKP government continues its military operations and execution of civilians in the streets, dozens are detained and arrested on daily basis as part of the political genocide operations aiming an elimination of the Kurdish population in Northern Kurdistan, the Kurdish region in Turkey.

    12 persons were remanded in custody by court decisions in Dersim and Urfa today, while many others were detained in house raids in Istanbul, Şırnak, Mardin and Ağrı.

    DERSİM

    Eight persons including HDP district co-chair who had been detained several days ago in Nazımiye district of Dersim were this morning referred to a court, where they were remanded in custody on alleged grounds of “being member of an organisation”. The arrested were taken to prison following the court decision.

    URFA

    Four persons who had been detained on allegation of involvement in the attacks launched on AKP Eyyübiye branch and the policemen outside the Balıklıgöl Public Hospital in Urfa, were referred to the court house today. The court ruled the arrest of the four detainees on alleged grounds of “being member of an organisation” and “possessing and using explosive materials”. The arrestees were then sent to Urfa E Type Prison. In the meantime, some blue marks were observed on the body of one of those arrested.

    ISTANBUL

    Police forces accompanied by armoured vehicles and special operation units launched simultaneous house raids in Esenler, Esenyurt, Bağcılar and Küçükçekmece districts of Istanbul today. While the details of the operations were not immediately clear, many have been reported detained in the operations.

    ŞIRNAK

    Two persons have been detained in house raids launched in 10 houses in Beytüşşebap district of Şırnak. While the detainees were taken to police department in the district, houses of DBP and HDP district branch co-chairs were also among the houses raided today. It is reported that police broke the doors of the houses during the raid.

    MARDİN

    Anti-terror teams and special operation units raided many houses in Cevizpınar and Tepebağ neighbourhoods of Mardin’s Derik district early this morning. Three people have been detained and taken to the police department in the district.

    AĞRI

    Two municipality workers, who had been detained on August 30 and then released following the procedures at the police department, have been taken into custody again on the objection of the prosecutor’s office.

    In the meantime, police also detained another person, who was detained in relation to a banner waved from his car travelling from Ağrı to Doğubeyazıt for a peace rally yesterday, and released later. The banner read “We salute the self-governance of our people”.

    Source: NEWS DESK – ANF 02-09-2015

  2. HDP deputies: Cizre under fire, many wounded

    Turkish state terror continues in Cizre district of Şırnak since the imposition of a curfew late yesterday evening.

    Turkish state terror continues in Cizre district of Şırnak since the imposition of a curfew late yesterday evening.

    While phone and internet lines remain cut off, which hinders the provision of proper information from the area, two people have reportedly lost their lives so far, according to reports yet to be verified. Many other people have been reported wounded as a result of attacks by Turkish security forces.

    THE WOUNDED LEFT TO DIE

    HDP Şırnak Deputy Faysal Sarıyıldız who is currently in the district, told that; “Attacks on the people of Cizre continue. Many have been wounded but ambulances are being denied access to neighborhoods.”

    Pointing out that the wounded have been left to die, Sarıyıldız said; “Denial of access for the wounded to the hospital is the darkest manner of enmity. No peace can calm the anger of a folk whose children are wounded, not allowed to receive treatment and left to die.”

    NO SECURITY OF LIFE

    Another HDP MP for Şırnak, Ferhat Encü, also stated that Cizre State Hospital has been surrounded by police who are not allowing any kind of treatment for civilians.

    Remarking that the curfew continues, Encü said the followings on his Twitter account; “Police aimed a gun at me even. The delegation of HDP-DBP deputies remains stuck in hospital. We have no security of life. According to the phone talks I had with the journalists in the neighborhoods, clashes are going on.”

    Source: ŞIRNAK – ANF 05-09-2015

  3. HDP delegation starts sit-in at the entrance of Cizre

    A delegation of the HDP including deputies has started a sit-in at the entrance of Şırnak’s Cizre district as Turkish security forces continue denying access to the district.

    A delegation of the HDP including deputies has started a sit-in at the entrance of Şırnak’s Cizre district as Turkish security forces continue denying access to the district.

    The HDP delegation, which includes, Mardin deputy Mehmet Ali Aslan, Batman deputy Ayşe Acar Başaran and Urfa deputy Leyla Güven, were hindered by police and military forces at the checkpoint outside Düzova police station on Silkroad close to the district.

    Police forces didn’t allow the politicians into the district on the grounds of the ‘curfew’ declared by Governor, upon which the delegation started a sit-in outside the police station.

    Source: ŞIRNAK – ANF 06-09-2015
    =============================================================================

    13-year-old child murdered by police in Cizre

    13-year-old child Cemile Çağırga lost her life as a result of fire opened from an armored vehicle deployed on a hill in Cudi neighborhood of Şırnak’s Cizre district last night.

    Turkish police murdered yet another child in Cizre district of Şırnak last night.

    13-year-old child Cemile Çağırga lost her life as a result of fire opened from an armored vehicle deployed on a hill in Cudi neighborhood. The body of Çağırga, like many others killed in attacks by security forces, is being held in a house due to the ongoing police blockade and hindrance. Many others are reported to have got wounded and denied access to hospital, including the imam of Xusriya Mosque and Salih Çağlı, brother of Cizre Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Süleyman Çağlı.

    Ambulances coming to the scene of attacks to take the wounded have once again been hindered by police.

    Reports say that police forces demolished the walls of Atatürk High School with tanks as they attempted to enter Nur neighborhood last night. Special operation teams did reportedly infiltrate into some areas in the neighborhood.

    Turkish forces that similarly attempted to enter Cudi neighborhood were on the other hand hindered by youths that carried out self-defense against attacks.

    Source: ŞIRNAK – ANF 07-09-2015

  4. Racist attacks on HDP offices and Kurds across Turkish cities

    Large numbers of racist groups have started a Kurd-hunt in a number of Turkish cities, in which some 126 offices of the HDP (Peoples’ Democratic Party) were attacked across the country since yesterday.

    Large numbers of racist groups have started a Kurd-hunt in a number of Turkish cities, in which some 126 offices of the HDP (Peoples’ Democratic Party) were attacked across the country since yesterday.

    Police took no action against the aggressive assailants who blamed HDP for the current situation in Turkey, without ever mentioning the role of the AKP despite it clearly stating that “None of these would have happened if we had won 400 seats in the parliament”.

    Still unable to accept the results of the June 7 elections and pointing at HDP as the responsible side for the ongoing conflict, government officials, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu in the first place, keep making statements provoking attacks of avenge against the party, as well as the Kurdish population in the country and the Kurdish armed movement, PKK, which voiced numerous calls for peace and negotiations even after the ending of the solution process due to the AKP’s failure to win what it desired.

    Local racist groups are also promoted and reportedly supported by the AKP that faced a big disappointment in the elections in which HDP received 13 percent of the votes across the country and thus didn’t allow AKP to come to the power alone.

    ANKARA

    Many extreme nationalists attacked in large groups on the HDP, DBP buildings and the mainly Kurdish inhabited neighbourhoods in many districts of Ankara last night.

    Balgat

    A large group of racists attacked the DBP headquarters in Balgat district of Ankara by throwing stones and chanting racist slogans against the Kurds at around 20:00 yesterday evening. While police forces did not intervene the attack, the signboard of the party was broken down by the group. The action of the racists in front of the DBP building lasted until 02:00.

    Beypazarı

    In Beypazarı district of Ankara, another large group marched from the district centre to Zafer neighbourhood where mainly Kurdish people live and attacked the houses and shops of the Kurdish citizens, setting fire to some of the houses and vehicles. While the Kurdish people in the neighbourhood responded to attacks with self-defence, the racist group reportedly used guns against the Kurds, leaving 7 persons wounded.

    While police intervened the scene only in the early morning hours, tension remains high in the district. HDP Beypazarı branch co-chair Abdu Öner said although the situation is relatively calm in the district as of the morning hours, some Kurdish families are leaving the district as the threat continues.

    Tuzluçayır

    A large group of racists gathered also in the city centre of Ankara last night and marched to Tuzluçayır district of the city known as a leftist settlement. The group attempted to enter the neighbourhoods where Kurdish, Alevi and leftist people live, intensifying their attacks mainly on Aktaş neighbourhood where many Kurdish people live, but faced a strong resistance by the people waging self-defence. The racist attacks were repulsed and the racist group had to leave the district as the youth held vigil in the district during the night against further attacks. In the meantime, police did not intervene the incidents, but rather accompanied the racist group from the city centre to Tuzluçayır.

    Keçiören

    In another development, a group of racists attacked on the HDP Keçiören office breaking the windows and taking the signboard of the party down. The group attempted to enter into the building until late hours, and left the scene after hanging a Turkish flag on the building.

    MERSİN

    Getting organised through social media, a group of racist assailants first attacked HDP building in Erdemli district of Mersin and then attacked the houses and shops of the Kurdish people in the district. Two vehicles owned by Kurdish citizens were set on fire in front of the police forces, while the group also attempted to burn three houses of Kurds. While the fire department and police did not intervene the scene, the racists further threatened the Kurdish people with killing them.

    In the meantime, another racist group closed the highway between Mersin and Antalya and stopped the buses belonging to companies from Amed, Van and Mardin and held ID checks in the buses in an attempt to figure out the Kurdish people.

    The attackers damaged the buses and also attacked the drivers. Some drivers who had to drive on the group to flee the scene were stopped by police, paving the way for further attacks on the buses.

    ANTALYA

    HDP headquarters in the southern city of Antalya also became the target of Turkish racist groups. While five persons remained stuck in the building during the attack, the party members arriving at the scene were also attacked by the fascist mob and police forces. 10 people were wounded in the incidents, while one person, O. Çakmak was seriously injured by a knife from the back. Çakmak still remains in a life-threatening condition in the hospital where he was operated.

    KONYA

    Racist groups in Konya also attacked the buildings of HDP and Ronahi –Der, a gathering point of Kurdish students in the city, while another group targeted the Kurdish workers in Ilgın district.

    A group gathered in Konya bus station in the evening hours and marched to HDP building in an attempt to set the building on fire. The group broke the door to enter the building while HDP executives were inside. The group had to leave the scene after an intervention by police teams.

    Another group directed at Ronahi-Der in Karatay district and set the building on fire before continuing to march in the neighbourhoods where mainly Kurdish people live.

    In Ilgın district of Konya, racist groups targeted around 400-500 Kurdish citizens, who came to district from the Kurdish cities to work in the construction of buildings. The workers did not respond in order not to flame the incidents, but had to defend themselves as the attacks increased. Two Kurdish workers were reportedly injured in the attacks that lasted until late hours.

    The workers demanded to be evacuated from the district following the incidents, but the district governor told that they could only be evacuated in 3-4 days. The workers said they did not have any life security as there were no measures taken by security forces and concerned authorities.

    ISPARTA

    A group of around two thousand racists attacked the HDP building in Isparta, leaving big material damage inside. The group threw down the chairs inside from the windows and then set the office on fire. The group then escaped from the scene by chanting the slogan “Martyrs are immortal, our land is indivisible”.

    MUĞLA

    In the western province of Muğla, a university student was attacked by a racist group with knieves, leaving him injured in many parts of his body. The student was taken to Fethiye Public Hospital after the attack.

    MALATYA

    A group of around 100-150 racist assailants attempted to burn down the HDP building in Malatya, entering the passage where the office of the party is located, and breaking down the iron doors before police forces standing there, who also accompanied the group in hanging Turkish flags on the building.

    BALIKESİR

    In another western city of Balıkesir, a group of racists entered the HDP building and first damaged the furniture inside, then threw down the chairs from the balcony and then set the office on fire. The group then dispersed from the scene, while the police did not intervene.

    İZMİR

    HDP offices in İzmir city center as well as ddistricts of Bergama, Dikili, Kemalpaşa and Buca were also targeted by attacks of racist mobs on the excuse of the Dağlıca incident which left 31 soldiers dead, including one staff lieutenant colonel, and 6 others wounded.

    While the assailants were not intervened or stopped by police here either, groups raided HDP offices and burned flags of the party, while also rallying in Selçuk and Atatürk neighborhoods from which they were later repelled by the self-defense of Kurdish citizens.

    Source: NEWS DESK – ANF 08-09-2015
    =============================================================================

    Demirtaş calls for self-defense against attacks

    Pointing out that attacks on HDP in 176 places were conducted by the hand of the state, Demirtaş said; “This is a turbulent process that will lead up to a major fracture and changes in both our country and the Middle East.”

    Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Co-President Selahattin Demirtaş made a statement to the press in Amed before leaving for Şırnak’s Cizre district where crackdown by Turkish security forces continues.

    Pointing out that attacks on HDP in 176 places were conducted by the hand of the state, Demirtaş said; “The current process we are going through is not an ordinary one, nor based on coincidences. This is a turbulent process that will lead up to a major fracture and changes in both our country and the Middle East.”

    Pointing to HDP’s persistent efforts for peace, Demirtaş said; “Unfortunately, we couldn’t achieve a result, as the bloodshed and deaths continue. We have unfortunately failed to stop this pain.”

    Demirtaş said it was President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu that have started this war, despite which they still made efforts on the basis of their moral and conscientious responsibility. He recalled that HDP was founded to strengthen civil peace and guarantee co-existence.

    HDP Co-President continued by addressing his remarks to the assailants targeting HDP offices across the country; “Those just demonstrating have the most legitimate right to protest, like all of us. We have nothing to say to them, we can listen to their criticism and try to understand them. However, these people do not include those who are triggered by the AKP and MIT (National Intelligence Service). These were determined one by one, and officially assigned as triggers. The acts of those who burn down the HDP offices, houses of Kurdish civilians, tents of seasonal workers, however, constitutes a crime for which they will be tried and arrested within the next 20 years. There is no government behind you. The government has fallen already. Yet, if you still insist on continuing your acts as ‘heroes’, this will be your discretion as you all will stand trial while the government officials will leave the power and go away.”

    Remarking that Erdğan and Davutoğlu have pointed the HDP as a target for days now, and holding it responsible for the deaths, Demirtaş called upon prosecutors with conscience and dignity to ask evidence for these claims, and to bring the HDP and its officials to account if these claims turn out to be true.

    Recalling that the Turkish media reports claimed order for the Dağlıca attack was given by him himself, Demirtaş urged the prosecutors and judges to launch a probe regarding these allegations and reveal who actually gave the order for Dağlıca incident.

    Demirtaş pointed out that PM Davutoğlu had been enjoying himself at a soccer match in Konya when reports of deaths came from Dağlıca, adding that he further used the son of a slain soldier in this.

    HDP Co-President called upon the people in the western part of the country to manifest fraternity amid the ongoing conflict and anti-Kurd attacks throughout the country, adding; “If Turks and Kurds are meant to join hands, it is the very time to do that.”

    Demirtaş said he himself had met with Turkish officials numerous times in order for the ending of attacks on HDP and the Kurds, noting that the Governor of Ankara held a disrespectful and impertinent talk with him, and obviously decided to overlook the assailants that set the HDP Headquarters in the Turkish capital on fire.

    Demirtaş urged the governor also to not be a party of these attacks that constitute a crime, and underlined that all those involved would be brought to trial.

    Calling upon the people not to be deceived by provocations, Demirtaş recalled that self-defense against attacks was a legitimate right, also in accordance with the Turkish Penal Code, and said everyone should carry out proportional self-defense. He vowed to stop deaths and bring peace in the country.

    Regarding the situation in Cizre, Demirtaş asked; “Do you think the people of Cizre have regretted voting for HDP and give their votes to AKP on November 1? What will ever change? We will grow stronger.” Calling for the ending of the curfew, Demirtaş said they made efforts to ensure the change of the current situation into a normal environment without violence.

    Answering a question “It seems your call for a cease-fire has not reached the concerned parties?, Demirtaş said his call has been answered by both sides already, with the President vowing that ‘the war will continue’, and KCK saying ‘We are ready for both mutual negotiation and cease-fire’. Demirtaş said they were ready to do anything for the creation of conditions for peace, adding; “What do the President and Prime Minister expect from HDP while they themselves drag the country into a chaos?

    To another question on Cizre, HDP Co-President stated that they would remain there until the curfew is ended and things return to normal.

    Source: AMED – ANF 09-09-2015

  5. Thousands continue the march to Cizre despite attacks

    Thousands of people are continuing their march from İdil to Cizre district of Şırnak from two sides despite the ongoing attacks and hindrances by Turkish security forces.

    Thousands of people are continuing their march from İdil to Cizre district of Şırnak from two sides despite the ongoing attacks and hindrances by Turkish security forces.

    Attacks of thousands of riot police brought from Amed and Ankara haven’t been able to hinder the march as people are walking on mountains and rural areas to reach Cizre where crackdown and heavy attacks by Turkish state forces continue claiming the lives of civilians.

    Bombs fired by police have started a fire in the area, which still continues.

    Kurdish politicians from HDP, HDK, DTK and DBP do in the meantime resume their march towards İdil-Cizre road. Police teams are coming after the mass who remain determined to reach Cizre today.
    Source: ŞIRNAK – ANF 10-09-2015
    =============================================================================

    Zana: I will go on death fast if deaths are not stopped

    HDP Ağrı deputy Leyla Zana called for an immediate end of deaths, stressing that the resistance will never be broken in Cizre which has always been a castle of resistance in Kurdistan.

    HDP Ağrı deputy Leyla Zana, who is in the group marching to Cizre in protest at the state terror in the town, called for an immediate end of deaths, stressing that the resistance will never be broken in Cizre which has always been a castle of resistance in Kurdistan.

    HDP Ağrı deputy Leyla Zana spoke in İdil on behalf of the group marching towards Cizre and recalled that the attacks of state forces first started in Diyadin, Ağrı during the pre-election period where one guerrilla sacrificed his life in order not to kill anyone and not to harm the resolution process. Zana said there was no example of this kind of self-sacrifice in the world that proved how much the Kurdish people valued the peace process.

    Regarding the ‘solution process’ ended by the AKP government, Zana said; “There took place a dialogue process in which Mr. Öcalan, our friends, sisters and brothers in Qandil and our group in the parliament were taken as an addressee. However, the government pursued a policy of delaying the solutions of the problems and imposed their own sense of peace. The Kurdish side in response demanded a recognition of Kurdish people’s most legitimate rights by the state and the government . While highlighting our demands, we did not take a stance against the peoples of Turkey. We demanded the provision of the same rights with other citizens in the country. The state mentality, however, does not accept this and denies entrance to Cizre with this mentality.”

    Zana said she will start a death fast if the ongoing deaths of civilians and youths do not stop, adding; “I have been discussing this issue with myself for the last month and finally decided on this: If we cannot stop the deaths, I will start a death fast. Everyone knows me well, if I say it, I do it, even if it costs my life. I prefer to die myself rather than watching the death of youths. My soul died when I heard about the death of 35-day-old baby and the mother keeping her daughter’s body in fridge to in order for it not to rot.”
    Source: ŞIRNAK – ANF 10-09-2015
    =============================================================================

    KONGRA GEL calls upon everyone to rise up for Cizre

    KONGRA GEL has called upon the people of Kurdistan, Turkey and Europe to stand up against the massacres being perpetrated by state forces in Cizre.

    KONGRA GEL has called upon the people of Kurdistan, Turkey and Europe to stand up against the massacres being perpetrated by state forces in Cizre and said “As Kobanê has been the place where ISIS lost, Cizre will similarly be the place where AKP’s dirty war policies face the same result”.

    KONGRA-GEL Co-Presidency has issued a statement regarding the massacre of civilians and people’s resistance in Cizre, stressing that the Kurdish people are building their own solution model through self-governance and self-defense against the AKP state which rejected a solution and is hoping to benefit from the dirty war tactics of the 90’s. The statement remarked that the people will eliminate the dirty war imposed on them by waging a big resistance.

    Saluting the resistance of the people in Kurdistan against the state of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan aiming to break the free will of the Kurdish people, Cizre in the first place, KONGRA GEL drew attention to the freedom struggle in Botan region, where Cizre occupies a central place and said: “The success of the resistance waged by people of Cizre will significantly determine how the process will evolve. Therefore Cizre is not Cizre alone. Cizre is what Kobanê was”. KONGRA GEL added that the AKP state is for that very reason trying its best to break the will of Cizre people through the curfew and all kinds of inhuman methods.

    Recalling that the wounded are not allowed to reach the hospitals and the bodies of the casualties are denied burial while people are not allowed to meet their basic needs in Cizre, KONGRA GEL strongly called on all the people of Kurdistan to stand up in support of Cizre resistance:

    “All parts of Kurdistan must rise up. Peoples of South, East and West Kurdistan must support the people of North through mass actions. In North Kurdistan, the settlements must continue to declare self-governance in order to impose a solution and to reclaim the resistance of peoples of Cizre. All places must be turned into Cizre”, said KONGRA GEL further calling on the peoples of Turkey to build a peace and democracy front against the dirty war of the AKP and to expose the policies of the AKP and Erdoğan in metropolitan cities of the country.

    KONGRA GEL also called upon the Kurdish people living in Europe to rise up in order to support the resistance in Cizre and raise awareness among the European public about what is going in Cizre, stressing that all the people must mobilize with the awareness that whatever will be done must be done right now.

    Source: NEWS DESK – ANF 11-09-2015

  6. Mother and daughter shot by snipers in Silopi

    While not a single day passes without murders in the Kurdish region of Turkey, 55-year-old civilian Fatma Ay and her 14-year-old daughter Berfin Ökten were targeted by snipers as they slept on the roofs of their house in Silopi last night.

    While not a single day passes without murders in the Kurdish region of Turkey, 55-year-old civilian Fatma Ay and her 14-year-old daughter Berfin Ökten were targeted by snipers as they slept on the roofs of their house in Karşıyaka neighborhood of Şırnak’s Silopi district last night.

    Snipers positioned on the District Police Headquarters Traffic Registration and Supervision Bureau shot first the daughter and then the mother at around 00:30.

    As both were referred to Silopi State Hospital and taken under treatment, the mother couldn’t survive despite all the medical efforts, while the girl, wounded in the shoulder, was referred to a hospital in Batman following an immediate treatment here.

    Source: ŞIRNAK – ANF 31-08-2015

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  13. 5 dead bodies found in Cizre’s Cudi neighborhood

    As the state of siege in Şırnak’s Cizre district continues for 50 uninterrupted days, 5 dead bodies have been found on Reyhan Street of Cudi neighborhood.

    Ambulances have been sent to the scene to retrieve the bodies which are expected to be taken to Cizre State Hospital.

    The five people, who are yet to be identified, have reportedly lost their lives as a result of attacks by state forces.

    Source: ŞIRNAK – ANF 01-02-2016
    =============================================================================

    Sarıyıldız: War crime committed in Cizre before the eyes of millions

    HDP deputy Faysal Sarıyıldız stated that dozens of people who remain trapped in the basement of a largely demolished building in Cizre for 10 days are being sent to death before the eyes of millions.

    HDP (Peoples’ Democratic Party) Şırnak deputy Faysal Sarıyıldız who is in the town of Cizre since the beginning of the most recent curfew and aggression 50 days ago, spoke to ANF about the grim situation in the basement where 31 people remain trapped for 10 days.

    While no news has been received from the trapped people for two days now, Sarıyıldız pointed out that death squads of the state that have surrounded the area are standing guard outside the building to make the people there die.

    ‘ALMOST THE ENTIRE BULDING COLLAPSED ON THE BASEMENT’

    Sarıldız recalled the remarks of DBP (Party of Democratic Regions) Assembly Member Mehmet Yavuzel, one of those wounded who last managed to speak on phone on 30 January, saying that the artillery fire on the building where has also left one side of the basement collapsed. While some of the wounded remained under ruins, conditions became severer inside as the building collapsed almost entirely on the basement, and the ways out have been closed with ruins.

    Sarıyıldız refuted the claims of clashes put forward by Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and government officials, and stressed that there was nobody but security forces in the area in order for a fighting to erupt.

    Regarding the obstruction of ambulance access to the area, Sarıyıldız said the followings; “The truth is that death squads are standing guard around the building to make the wounded there die. Everyone must see this scene now. Since the very first day, we are asking the authorities to allow us go there now that they didn’t accept to send the state’s ambulances. Yet, this demand of ours has been rejected every single time. Yesterday, 10 mothers walked up to that building where they were detained by security forces. If there is a fighting there as is claimed by many, how did mothers enter that area?”

    Sarıyıldız pointed out that mothers could have helped many of those trapped get out if they had been allowed to go inside the basement.

    ‘DEATH SQUADS ARE STANDING GUARD TO MAKE THEM DIE’

    HDP deputy stressed that death squads of the state are standing guard outside the building particularly to make them die there, adding; “It is seen that these death squads have been sent to this region in order to murder every single one who refuses to leave the neighborhood. They are even threatening health teams and not allowing them access to the area on alleged grounds of clashes. These death squads are not afraid of prosecution either because of the fact that they are doing what they have been instructed to do by the government and state officials.”

    Sarıyıldız recalled that these people who are struggling to survive in a basement for 12 days, adding; “A war crime is being committed here before the eyes of 78 million people. They had no single drop of water for the last 6 days. If they manage to resist the wounds, they will die of thirst. These people are being sent to death before the eyes of millions.”

    Source: ŞIRNAK – ANF 02-02-2016

  14. No news from the Cizre basement for 5 days

    It has been 5 days since the last news came from the basement in the Cudi neighborhood of Sirnak’s Cizre district where wounded people had been waiting for medical care for 13 days now. Every passing hour increases the suspicion of the wounded people’s execution.

    The last communication with the basement took place 5 days ago when police attacked the wounded people who were trying to leave the basement as they spoke with HDP parliamentarians who were discussing the issue with officials from the Ministry of Interior Affairs. No life supplies including water could be found in the basement over the past 8 days.

    HDP Co-President Selahattin Demirtaş called upon the government to open a human corridor to the town and declared that he was ready to join a team of medics and retrieve the wounded people yesterday. Members of the HDP committee continue their correspondence with government officials on this issue.

    Faysal Sarıyıldız, HDP parliamentarian from Şırnak, stated that explosion sounds continue to come from around the basement, and ambulances and volunteer medics from Cizre Municipality and Şırnak would try to access the basement after the meeting between HDP parliamentarians and ministers in Ankara. Sarıyıldız noted that Turkish armed forces have been preventing the access of ambulances and medics to the basement since the first day of the conflict, using fake armed confrontations as their excuse and asking medics if they really thought they could take out the bodies of the wounded alive.

    Source: ŞIRNAK – ANF 04-02-2016
    =============================================================================

    9 people trapped in a building in Cizre burn to death
    While 15 wounded, 7 slain and 9 exhausted civilians remain trapped in a basement in Cizre for 14 days, it came out yesterday that dozens of people are stuck in another house in the same Cizre neighborhood.

    Cizre People’s Assembly co-chair Mehmet Tunç who spoke to Özgür Gün TV on phone Thursday evening stated that 37 other people including injured are stranded in a house on the first floor of a building in Cizre neighborhood.
    Tunç stated that heavy artillery attacks by state forces started a huge fire on the top floor of the building, while a cannon shell hit the house where people took shelter, as a result of which 9 heavily wounded people burned to death.

    While the fire continues on the 3rd and 4th floors of the building, Tunç told the followings; “The remaining 28 people are alive but some of them have suffered burns. Yet, they cannot survive these conditions for one more day. We put on toothpaste on their injuries. 9 people with heavy wounds who were in a room all burned to death.

    There was some water, we poured it on them but it didn’t help save them. The basement has two apartments and we are in the other one now. Mortar attacks are going on and armored military vehicles are patrolling outside the house. If we happen to die, this will clearly be an execution.”

    Source: ŞIRNAK – ANF 05-02-2016

  15. 17 wounded people murdered in Cizre so far, no news from the others

    It is the seventh day without any news from the basement where dozens remain trapped for 15 days. The other basement, where 9 out of 35 people burned to death yesterday, hasn’t been reached either since last night.

    The state of siege under the name of curfew continues in Cizre district of Şırnak for the 55th uninterrupted days.

    It was one week ago when last contact was established with the basement in Cudi neighborhood where 31 people remain trapped for two weeks now. These include 15 wounded and 9 exhausted civilians in addition to 7 others who bled to death due to persistent denial of medical response. Ambulances have continuously been hindered access to the basement on alleged grounds of clashes while Civilian Defense Units (YPS) state that they have no units deployed in the mentioned area where therefore no fighting is taking place over the past two weeks.

    On the other hand, it came out 2 days ago that 37 other wounded people were stuck in another basement in the same Cudi neighborhood.

    A fire started by heavy attacks of Turkish forces on the top floors of the building bounced to the basement where people took shelter, as a result of which 9 heavily wounded people burned to death. Fire squads were denied access to the scene on alleged grounds of “clashes”, an excuse persistently put forward by Turkish forces in an obvious attempt to hinder the rescue of trapped civilians, as is the case regarding the other basement.

    Ambulances of Cizre Municipality were sent to this area, too, but were similarly hindered by state forces on alleged grounds of “clashes in the area”.

    Cizre People’s Council co-chair Mehmet Tunç who also takes shelter in the mentioned building under fire, stated yesterday that 9 people inside burned to death as a result of the fire started by artillery attacks. Late yesterday evening, 16-year-old Abdullah Gün was shot dead by state forces after he went out of the basement for a while.

    While the death toll in the basement rose to 10 during the past 2 days, there are a total of 27 people with injuries, including children, many of whom have suffered severe burns.

    Turkish forces yesterday surrounded the building with armored vehicles and made announcements to the wounded people stuck inside, saying “Surrender or you will be responsible for the consequences”. Artillery attacks against the building intensified in the evening hours. In the meantime, Şırnak Governor’s Office claimed a written statement yesterday that the fire in the building was started by PKK members.

    As Turkish forces are kind of making an effort to make the trapped people die in two basements, as many as 17 people with injuries have been murdered so far. Their bodies remain together with the wounded in both basements.

    Source: ŞIRNAK – ANF 06-02-2016

  16. Sarıyıldız: Reports of mass killing came after huge explosions

    HDP Şırnak deputy Faysal Sarıyıldız said reports on the killing of 60 people in a basement in Cizre came in the wake of two very huge blasts in the area Sunday evening.

    HDP Şırnak deputy Faysal Sarıyıldız who spoke about the alleged reports on the killing of 60 people in a basement in the town of Cizre pointed out that this assertion was put forward in the wake of two very huge blasts in the area Sunday evening.

    Sarıyıldız spoke to Stêrk TV after the state-run TRT TV reported a breaking news saying that Turkish security forces conducted an operation on a basement in the evening hours, as a result of which “some 60 terrorists were neutralized”.

    Sarıyıldız told the followings; “The assertion came in the wake of two huge explosions that occurred 2 hours ago. Those trapped in the building (the second one) had told us that there were a total of 52 people apart from the 9 that burned to death and 1 that was murdered in the basement. It is understood that the mentioned operation was conducted on this building. We have no clear information yet but such a savagery might have taken place after a continued denial of retrieval and hospitalization of the trapped people. If such a thing has occurred, it will mean a very big massacre.”

    HDP MP said eyewitnesses told that they heard no gunshots but explosion during the operation in question. We hereby publish some photos released by social media accounts run by Turkish police.

    Source: NEWS DESK – ANF 08-02-2016

  17. Latest situation in Cizre: 66 massacred, no news from 73 others

    While people trapped in basements are being massacred by state forces in Cizre town of Şırnak, dozens of corpses have been taken to hospital and no news is received from many others facing a threat of imminent execution.

    Out of the 134 people known to be stuck in basements-94 in Cudi and 45 in Sur neighborhood-, 66 have been verified massacred in basements so far.

    1ST BASEMENT: NO NEWS FROM 15 WOUNDED AND 9 OTHER PEOPLE

    It has been 19 days since a total of 31 people sheltered in the basement of a building on Bostancı Street of Cudi neighborhood were targeted by attacks of state forces. While 7 among them died in the basement due to ongoing denial of medical access, no news has been received from the 15 wounded and 9 exhausted people here for 11 days now.

    In addition to the obstruction of volunteer medics into the town to rescue the trapped, ambulances of Cizre Municipality were also denied access to the scene for days on alleged grounds of “clashes” in the area. HDP officials’ talks with the Ministry of Justice for the retrieval of casualties also remained inconclusive. The building had collapsed on the basement when last contact with the trapped people was established 11 days ago. There was no food or water, nor any means to dress the wounds. The basement, known as the “basement of atrocity” has kind of become a grave for 15 wounded and 9 other exhausted people.

    2ND BASEMENT: 39 OF 62 PEOPLE MASSACRED, NO NEWS FROM 23 OTHERS

    The building on Narin Street of Cudi neighborhood where 62 people had taken shelter was also targeted by state forces with tank strikes. A fire started by attacks on the top floors of the building bounced to the basement where people were sheltered, as a result of which 9 heavily wounded people burned to death. In addition, 16-year-old Abdullah Gün was shot dead by state forces after he went out of the basement for a while.

    In the evening of 7 February, Turkish military and forces conducted an offensive on the building. State-run TV channel TRT reported a breaking news asserting that “some 60 terrorists were neutralized” in the operation. This was followed by the withdrawal of the report and announcement of different figures by government officials in an attempt to cover up the scale of the massacre. Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu refuted the TRT report, saying they relied on the statement by Şırnak Governorate which said “10 people were killed”.

    Yesterday evening, two ambulances of Cizre Municipality were allowed access to the scene for the retrieval of casualties, after which 27 burnt and fragmented corpses were transported to Cizre State Hospital. While 12 more corpses have been found at the scene and taken to hospital today, the fate of 23 others known to be trapped in the building remains unknown.

    According to HDP Şırnak deputy Faysal Sarıyıldız, there were a total of 10 slain and 52 injured people in the basement when they last reached the people there. He said they suspected all those here had been killed in the massacre.

    3RD BASEMENT: 20 BURNED TO DEATH, NO NEWS FROM 25 OTHERS

    It came out today that there were 45 other people stuck in another building in Sur neighborhood. Tank strikes by Turkish military caused the collapse of the top floors, after which police forces entered the building and set fire to the basement by using oil, as a result of which 20 people here burned to death. 25 others are facing a threat of imminent execution.

    Derya Koç, former co-chair of HDP Milas district branch, who is among those trapped in the mentioned building, told on phone earlier today that ongoing artillery strikes by state forces have started to demolish the building which has left the people inside under ruins. She stated that police fired tear gas into the building and they therefore cannot breathe even.

    Having a difficulty in speaking due to the tear gas, Koç reported that one of the wounded who suffered burns is in extremely serious condition, while some others are also in a critical condition and cannot find any material to stop the bleeding.

    “We can’t breathe. Many of the people here have suffered injuries in their arms and legs. One of the wounded has lost an eye. Those with severe wounds will die if they do not receive urgent medical attention”, she added.

    Source: ŞIRNAK – ANF 11-02-2016

  18. 138 victims of Cizre massacre still unidentified

    Out of 165 corpses retrieved from the scenes of Cizre massacre, only 27 could be identified and buried so far.

    Identification efforts still continue for victims of the Cizre massacre committed by state forces in several basements two weeks ago. Corpses of the victims were sent to hospitals in Cizre, Silopi, Şırnak, Mardin, Urfa and Antep where identification procedures continue very slowly and irregularly since.

    While a total of 165 corpses have been retrieved from the scenes of massacre and taken to hospitals so far, only 25 of these were identified and buried by their families. Two unidentified victims were laid to Şırnak the day before.

    On the other hand, there are 62 corpses yet to be identified at Khabur/Silopi, 19 in Urfa, 10 in Şırnak, 20 in Antep, 12 in Mardin, 15 in Cizre. Results are being awaited of DNA tests performed due to the impossibility of identification on corpses that are mainly burnt and without physical integrity.

    96 families have applied so far for the corpses held in hospitals. Families in Cizre, however, cannot take any step for identification due the ongoing state of siege.

    In the meantime, it is reported that families of some victims haven’t made any application yet because they do not know about their children’s death. The Crisis Desk formed in Mardin province has called upon families who suspect that their children may have died in Cizre to apply to them for identification.

    HDP Şırnak parliamentarian Faysal Sarıyıldız also called attention to the situation on his Twitter account, remarking that the number of families who have given DNA sample so far is very much below the number of victims. He called upon families of probable victims to go to Mardin and give DNA sample.

    Source: ŞIRNAK – ANF 21-02-2016

  19. Declaration of the Conference of European Left Parties in Amed released

    The final declaration of the European Left Parties Solidarity Conference With Kurdish People in Amed has been released.

    The conference in the main Kurdish city Amed on 20 February was organised by HDP (Peoples’ Democratic Party), DTK (Democratic Society Congress), DBP (Party of Democratic Regions) and KJA (Free Women’s Congress).

    The declaration of the European Left Parties Solidarity Conference With Kurdish People reads;

    * We as Kurdish, Turkish and European left and democratic forces stand together in our fight for democracy, peace, diversity and social justice.

    * We are gathered here today to call on the Turkish Government to stop the massacres and killings of civilians in the besieged Kurdish cities. Civilian woman and children are the ones suffering the most from this brutal policy.

    We call on the Turkish government to stop the curfew and allow for access to the besieged cities. The grave violations of basic human rights must be stopped and an international commission must be set up in order to secure that the responsible for war crimes will be prosecuted.

    * The European Union is turning a blind eye to the human rights violations, war crimes and attack on the Kurdish areas of Syria, committed by the Turkish Government in order avoid refugees coming through Turkey to Europe.

    This is not only a neglect of the democratic forces and European values this could also lead to a brutal civil war in Turkey with thousands of civilian casualties and huge numbers of refugees. Furthermore this aggressive policy from the Turkish Government could further increase violence in the whole region.

    * We call on the European Union and European countries to put pressure on the Turkish Government to respect their obligations to honour the European Human Rights Convention and restart negotiation with the PKK under international third party supervision. The isolation of the Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan and EU terror-labelling of the PKK must stop in order to secure a sustainable peace process.

    * The Kurdish demand for self-government and recognition is legitimate and in line with standards of the Council of Europe and shall not be criminalized. Turkey is a society of multiple cultures and religions and accepting this is a first step to peace.

    * Furthermore the Turkish government must grant the right to press freedom and freedom of assemblies and the prosecution of elected representatives must be stopped.

    * Finally we call on all progressive and democratic forces in Europe to support the Kurdish and democratic movement against the authoritarian regime of Erdogan.

    * We call upon the Turkish Government to stop the war against the Kurds in Turkey and in Rojava and to end the curfew against the besieged Kurdish cities.

    * We call upon the European Union, NATO and European countries to stop arms export to Turkey and to end any military cooperation. It is unacceptable that German tanks and NATO weapons are used against civilians.

    * We call upon the United Nations to investigate the use of weapons against civilians and secure that the responsible for war crimes will be prosecuted.

    * The solution of the conflict depends on integration of women in the peace process.

    * We will continue with our support and solidarity for peace and democracy in Turkey and the whole region.”

    Source: AMED – ANF 23-02-2016

  20. Thursday 3rd March 2016

    posted by Morning Star in World

    by Our Foreign Desk

    RESIDENTS of the Turkish city of Cizre returned yesterday after months of army attacks to find rotting corpses in the rubble of their homes.

    Soldiers occupied the majority Kurdish city of 132,000 people last year as part of the offensive against the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

    The army claims that more than 600 PKK guerillas were killed in Cizre. Human rights groups said that 92 civilians had been killed in the town during the military operation and another 171 bodies had been found since the operation officially ended on February 11.

    “Those who did this are not human,” said Cizre resident Serif Ozem.

    “What took place here is a second Kobane in a country that is supposed to be a democracy.”

    The northern Syrian town of Kobane was devastated by Islamic State (Isis) attacks before the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) drove them out — to Turkey’s indignation.

    A two-year ceasefire and negotiation between the PKK and Turkish government broke down following a July 20 Isis suicide bomb attack in Suruc on a group of Kurdish youth volunteers on their way to rebuild Kobane.

    The PKK subsequently accused Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government of collusion with the terrorist army.

    Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag told parliament on Tuesday evening that his ministry had prosecuted 1,845 cases of insulting the president since Mr Erdogan was elected in 2014.

    Cumhuriyet newspaper editor-in-chief Can Dundar said his recent release from remand — for publishing evidence of government arms supplies to Syrian rebels — was a defeat for the president, who “is trying to turn it into a state crisis.”

    http://morningstaronline.co.uk/a-96fb-Turkey-Army-strikes-on-Kurdish-city-leaves-citizens-only-rubble#.VtiuSuZtc4A

  21. State garrison in Cizre resembles Raqqa

    The discovery of currency from Syria, the United Arab Emirates, Russia and Hungary in the garrison of state forces in Cizre points at Turkey’s use of jihadist gangs in its genocidal attacks.

    New findings emerge on the Turkish state’s use of Al-Qaeda gangs in its genocidal attacks in Şırnak’s Cizre district. Currency from Syria, the United Arab Emirates, Russia and Hungary were found in the 5 storey tall building that state forces used as a garrison in Cizre’s Sur neighborhood.

    Owners of the building returned to their homes after the retreat of state forces, and found different currencies in the rubbles of their property. The discovery of these currencies in the garrison of state forces in Cizre points at Turkey’s use of jihadist gangs in its genocidal attacks. The discovery of Russian rubles supports the claim that Turkey employed gang members originally from countries such as Chechnya, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan.

    RACIST WRITINGS ON THE WALLS, BEER CASES…

    Several beer cases were found in the remains of the state garrison, where the walls are filled with racist writings and slurs. Many journalists had claimed that a ‘Turkmen brigade’ was stationed in the area and state forces spoke Arabic and Azeri over radio communication during the genocidal attacks.

    M.E.Z., a former emir of Ahrar-al Sham which was established as a front organization for Al-Nusra, had stated that the Turkish Intelligence was transporting 750 gang members to Turkey in order to use them in the attacks in North Kurdistan.

    Source: ŞIRNAK – ANF 07-03-2016

  22. Press conference in the European Parliament on AKP’s massacres

    HDP Urfa deputy Osman Baydemir, Batman deputy Ali Atalan and HDP European Parliament Representative Faik Yağızay held a press conference in the EP together with the Left Group.

    Marie-Christine Vergiat from the Kurdish Friendship Group in the European Parliament, Takis Hadjigeorgiou, co-chair of the Delegation to the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee, and Spanish MP Miguel Urban Crespo also attended the press conference which called upon the European Union and other European institutions to take action against the Turkish state massacres in North Kurdistan.

    Speaking here, HDP Urfa MP Osman Baydemir called attention to the genocidal attacks conducted by AKP forces against Kurdish population, describing the situation as a “state of war violating human rights”.

    Baydemir recalled that more than 650 civilian people were killed and 450 thousand forcibly displaced during the past 10 months under the name of “counter-terrorism”. Drawing attention to the ongoing artillery and tank strikes against the living areas of civilian population, Baydemir stressed that the European Parliament, European Union and other institutions should urgently visit the Kurdish region and witness the destruction on the ground. He added that independent press members are not allowed to cover the ongoing conflict in the region, while perpetrators are being granted impunity.

    Baydemir emphasised that Europe should take initiative for the re-beginning of a ceasefire and talks for negotiations, and avoid giving into Erdoğan’s blackmail on refugees.

    Speaking after, Takis Hadjigeorgiou, co-chair of the Delegation to the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee, stated that; “The ceasefire process was important to the European Parliament for it stopped the bloodshed as negotiations between two sides continued. When we went to the mainly Kurdish region, governors, especially that of Diyarbakır, rejected our demand for a meeting with their side despite the fact that the Kurdish question can be resolved only through negotiations.”

    Spanish MP Miguel Urban Crespo told the followings regarding his observations during the course of their visit in North Kurdistan; “The city of Diyarbakır was being shaken by the sounds of artillery strikes. This is not a normal situation but truly a state of war. Municipality administrators, workers, politicians and everyone we talked to are under a great pressure.”

    Speaking after, Marie-Christine Vergiat, President of the Kurdish Friendship Group in the European Parliament, also called attention to the massacres committed by the AKP against Kurdish people, saying; “What we saw and learned show that the state doesn’t respect the laws of war, let alone human rights.”

    Source: STRASBOURG – ANF – HÜSEYİN ELMALI 10-03-2016

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  33. Saturday 20th May 2017

    posted by Morning Star in Features

    In 2015 in Cizre, Turkey, around 189 men, women and children were trapped for weeks in three basements without water, food or medical aid before they were burned alive. STEVE SWEENEY met some of the relatives

    Situated close to the Syrian and Iraqi borders and surrounded by the Tigris river the Turkish city of Cizre is described by locals as “the crown of the Kurdish movement.”

    Support for the opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) is strong and the city returned an 81.2 per cent No vote rejecting the constitutional changes in the recent referendum.

    It lies in Turkey’s Sirnak province, an area that has seen intense fighting between the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and government forces.

    Deadly air strikes from F16 fighter jets killed 34 people in an incident known as the “Roboski Massacre” in 2011.

    Cizre was the scene of one of the most notorious events in recent history when in 2015 around 189 men, women and children were trapped for weeks in three basements without water, food or medical aid before they were burned alive.

    A UN report found that: “The subsequent demolition of the buildings destroyed evidence and has therefore largely prevented the basic identification and tracing of mortal remains.”

    Foreign journalists rarely come here and human rights organisations including Amnesty International have been blocked from documenting abuses. Human Rights Watch have accused the Turkish government of a systematic cover-up.

    We came to war-torn Cizre to speak to the people who have lost loved ones and to help them tell their story in the secret war being waged in the Kurdish part of Turkey.

    Driving through the streets in the blistering, mid-afternoon heat piles of rubble lay where once stood houses and apartment blocks.

    Armoured vehicles prowled the city’s narrow streets at almost every turn as our driver took us through short-cuts that avoided the many police and army checkpoints that are a feature of every day life for Cizre’s residents.

    He told me there were plans to build more police stations — they have already taken over five school buildings and one local told me they now make up 10 per cent of the population.

    HDP officials claim that plans to radically change the layout of the town are a political move driven by the government as they believe the narrow streets help the PKK.

    “They are building more houses than they destroyed,” I am told at the local HDP branch office. “And they will destroy even more houses to build new ones.”

    He told me the authorities plan to bring people from outside Cizre, nonKurds and police as they attempt to control the city by fear and intimidation and to change the social dynamic of a “loyal and politically conscious people.

    “People were told to pay 35,000 Turkish Lira for the new houses but they resisted so they changed a couple of the projects. But now they are telling people either take it or you get nothing.”

    I heard how more than 67 bodies have still not been found. Families gave blood tests for DNA samples to be taken to see if they matched with any of the body parts that had been recovered.

    And despite protests, houses and apartments are set to be built on top of where the unrecovered dead bodies still lie.

    “I don’t know where my daughter is, but I am sure that she is underneath the building,” 41-year-old Hezni Aslan told me.

    Her 19-year-old daughter Hacer was a student nurse at the local hospital when she heard news that her brother had been injured as Turkish security forces started shelling the Nur Mahallesi district.

    “They took over the Mem u Zin cultural centre at the top of the hill,” she says pointing out of the window at a large building that imposes itself over the neighbourhood and is now a police station.

    She told me that the family were forced to flee as fighting intensified taking shelter in another house.

    The apartment still bears the scars of the battle with the walls and ceiling riddled with bullet marks.

    “My little girl came and nobody was here,” she told me tearfully.

    Hacer is believed to have died after the basement she took shelter in with her 22-year-old brother Mehmed Said Aslan had petrol poured into it and was set on fire burning everyone alive.

    We had disturbed her other son as we entered the living room. Like a typical teenager he was having an afternoon sleep.

    He told me: “My mum went looking for my sister for two days but then they flattened the area and destroyed the evidence.”

    He anxiously twisted a leather bracelet on his wrist which included Gerald Holtom’s famous CND peace symbol.

    It was a peace the teenager would never have known having grown up in a conflict-zone.

    Ms Aslan clings on to hope that her daughter will be found, however told me: “This is a girl who would call me if she was even five minutes late. It has been eighteen months and I still don’t know where she is.”

    It was a similar story with the next family I visited in the Nur neighbourhood.

    Their 18-year-old son Yakup Dadak went missing a year-and-a-half ago during an attack by Turkish security forces.

    “If he has done something wrong then maybe he is in prison,” his mother Halim Dadak told me in hope.

    “He loved his family,” his father said solemnly as he told me Yakup would sell fuel that he had collected in Iraq in Cizre’s city centre.

    Ms Dadak explained to me how she had been asked to identify Yakup’s body in the morgue. She said the bodies looked as though they had been dragged in and dumped.

    “How could I identify my son. There were headless bodies, body parts and torso’s just lying there. It looked as though chemicals had been used on the bodies.”

    This is a family that has been torn apart by the conflict. Their eldest son has been in prison for the last year charged with spreading terrorist propaganda. He is held in Van, hundreds of miles away and is only allowed visitors once every two months.

    “We can’t afford to visit him as he is so far away,” his father told me.

    Mrs Dadak took me to the spot where the houses that the two families lived in stood before they were burned down.

    “We don’t want the houses to be built,” she told me tearfully, looking up to the sky.

    We made our way through the narrow streets to Cudi Mahallesi a short drive away.

    As we entered the house of Taybet Gokhan the reality show Survivor was playing on the television. The metaphor wasn’t lost on me as we sat down to drink tea.

    Osman Gokhan was the leader of the Cudi People’s Assembly and was one of those who was trapped in a neighbourhood basement as people took shelter from cross-fire.

    “We heard voice recordings where people were begging for water. They were eating rice raw just to survive. Only 5kg of bones were left. They were all burned alive,” Mrs Gokhan told me.

    Her teenage daughters Melek and Dilek joined us — 15-year-old Dilek displayed a steely determination when speaking about her father.

    “I am very active in politics and want to be a solicitor,” she told me as she vowed to devote her life to finding who was responsible for killing her father and bringing them to justice.

    “I don’t want my father to be forgotten about in the history books. We still have no idea where the body is. Did they take it to Van and dump it in the Tigris river?”

    She explained how the police continue to “terrorise” the family. They have smashed windows in their house and pay them night time visits, knocking on the door at 2am.

    “The police came to our house in the middle of the night and demanded I wake up my little brother who is eight years old.

    “I told them ‘I’m not going to wake him. He can sleep. I won’t let him be terrorised by your presence.’”

    “I don’t trust them,” she said.

    Her anger is clear as she believes that Kurds are discriminated against across the whole of Turkey from Istanbul to the Black Sea.

    Grafitti marks the bullet-ridden walls of Cizre’s streets reading: “If you are a Turk be proud of it. If you are a Kurd, obey.”

    “The country is going through a difficult time, but if you are a Kurd you feel it many times more.

    “Even though the curfew is lifted there are tanks everywhere. We don’t feel like going anywhere.”

    During the curfew — which had ended just 20 days previously — the police took over people’s houses, moving in and causing difficulties between neighbours.

    Dilek continued: “They broke everything in the house. Our upstairs neighbour came down for food and the police gave ours to them.

    “They took stuff out of the houses including blankets. We spent the first month after the police had gone exchanging stuff so we got everything back.”

    As I left both young women kissed and held me tightly, reluctant to let go. They brought me roses and other flowers handpicked from among the rubble in their front garden.

    The curfew may have been lifted, but Cizre remains a city under siege.

    The people are resilient, their smile is their resistance.

    But while the people of Cizre continue to search for the bodies of their dead, Theresa May signs arms deals to sell fighter jets and weapons to the Turkish government.

    Enough is enough.

    http://morningstaronline.co.uk/a-424b-In-a-city-under-siege-a-smile-is-resistance#.WSA6YtykIdU

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