Civilians flee violence in southeast Turkey as curfew lifted

4 Feb 2016   Turkey

Hundreds of people fled a conflict-hit area of southeast Turkey’s largest city of Diyarbakir on Wednesday, taking advantage of the lifting of a curfew to escape any further clashes between security forces and Kurdish fighters. A witness said people left the city’s Sur district with suitcases, televisions and carpets loaded onto pick-up trucks and handcarts, deserting an area damaged heavily in fighting since a curfew was declared there a month ago. β€œIt’s always the ordinary people who suffer,” said Mehmet Ceylan, 45, carrying a bundle on his back. β€œI’ve lived in Sur for years, and I’ve never witnessed a scene like this.” Hundreds of Kurdish fighters and security force members have been killed since July when a ceasefire collapsed, triggering the worst violence in two decades and wrecking hopes for a peace deal in a conflict that has killed more than 40,000 since 1984. The chief district administrator’s office […]

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