Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) alarmed by escalating violence in south-east Turkey

Ingebjørg Godskesen (Norway, EC) and Nataša Vuckovic (Serbia, SOC), co-rapporteurs of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) for post-monitoring dialogue with Turkey, reacting to yesterday’s attack on the police headquarters in Çinar (Diyarbakir) that left six people dead, including three children, and 39 wounded, have made the following statement:

“This is a new, unacceptable upsurge of violence in south-east Turkey, which has been suffering from continuous military operations and unrest for the past six months. We are alarmed by this escalation of violence and especially its impact on the population, which has paid a heavy price: far too many inhabitants have already been victims of the fighting.

In Sur (Diyarbakir), Cizre and Silopi, round-the-clock curfews have been in place for up to six weeks now. The information we have been given makes us very worried about the fate of the population and its access ‎to medical care, water, electricity, education and other basic needs that are disrupted by urban guerilla and on-going security operations. Thousands of people have already fled these areas.

We urge all sides to refrain from further violence, engage in a ceasefire and resume the peace talks that are urgently needed. In this context, freedom of expression and of the media must also be guaranteed so that citizens can be duly and thoroughly informed and can debate the Kurdish issue free from fear, in a democratic society and in line with the European Convention on Human Rights.

We expect the authorities to ensure that military operations, if deemed necessary to combat terrorism in the region, are conducted in line with international standards – with due consideration for the humanitarian needs of the citizens, their right to security, justice for their lost ones, and compensation for damages.”