Urgent call for international solidarity to lift the siege of Silvan

Since the general elections of June 7th, as violence and the death toll increased massively troughout the country, some local authorities of the Kurdish areas declared “autonomy” in order to protect their inhabitants. Security forces of the Turkish government responded by a series of attacks on these areas and 24 hour long curfews were declared while soldiers and special force teams attacked neighbourhoods, placing snipers on rooftops and shooting anyone who got to the streets. Many civilians, including women, children and elderly, have been killed so far.

The latest of these attacks are currently taking place in the district of Silvan in Diyarbakir.
Since November 2nd, the Tekel, Mescit and Konak neighbourhoods of Silvan have been under the heavy occupation of Turkish police special forces and army. The 24 hours imposed curfew is still in application and civilians are unable to leave their houses for basic needs or to take wounded people to hospitals.

High quantity of armoured cars roam the streets raking buildings with machine gun fire. Tanks have been deployed on surrounding high ground and are shelling residential neighbourhoods and helicopters are also used to fire at the area.

Today, the Turkish military violently attacked an HDP delegation that attempted to visit the area to witness the extent of the massacre and co-chair of the HDP Figen Yüksekdag was injured.

The number of dead and wounded cannot be accurately known. Ziya Pir, HDP deputy for Amed reported that he attempted to intervene with an official of the Ministry of the Interior and was told, “We will wipe these three neighbourhoods from the map”.

Ziya Pir reported as follows:

“They are shooting indiscriminately everywhere. Soldiers, police and completely unregistered people, what I can only call ‘headhunters’ are raking buildings from top to bottom with machine gun fire. Tanks have been positioned overlooking these neighbourhoods. We cannot enter the neighbourhoods.
“Information we have from inside is that people are hiding in groups of 10-15 in the cellars of buildings. No-one can go outside, because there are snipers located on the roof tops. If they see even a shadow inside a house or any sign of life, they open fire. In previous operations there would sometimes be a break of an hour or two. Now shooting is round the clock without a break.”

On November 15-16, the G20 conference will be hosted by the Turkish government in Antalya.

Meanwhile that same government is engaged in indiscriminate slaughter of its own civilians. All the targets areas are those where there were high votes for the HDP on june and november elections.

The G20 meeting is of considerable value to the Turkish government and, unfortunately, European governments are now soft pedalling on criticisms of human rights violations in Turkey in the hope that the Turkish government will restrict the flow of refugees to Europe.

We call the turkish government to immediatly cease operations against the civilian population and allow members of parliament and independent international observers access to these areas.

We also call the international community to express his concern about these tragic developments in Turkey.

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