Three killed in clashes under curfew in Turkey’s southeast

A demonstrator holds picture of Bar Association President Tahir Elci during a protest in Istanbul, Turkey, November 28, 2015.

A demonstrator holds picture of Bar Association President Tahir Elci during a protest in Istanbul, Turkey, November 28, 2015.


Three Kurdish militants were killed on Wednesday in a Turkish southeastern district under curfew since a prominent Kurdish lawyer was shot dead over the weekend, the provincial governor’s office said on Wednesday.

Clashes erupted in the town of Sur in Diyarbakir province, in the mainly Kurdish southeast, after Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants violated a curfew and attacked police at a check point, according to a statement on the governor’s website.

One woman militant was killed at the check point, while two others were killed and one police officer was wounded during shooting that followed, security sources said.

On Saturday, Tahir Elci, a Kurdish lawyer and human rights activist was gunned down in Sur. He was facing trial for saying the banned PKK was not a terrorist organization, as the government describes it. He had, however, denounced PKK violence.

Elci’s killing was likely to fuel further unrest.

The sub-governorate of the Sur district announced on Wednesday that a curfew had been imposed in six neighborhoods starting from 5 AM until further notice.

Hundreds of people have been killed in the mainly Kurdish southeast since July, when a two-year PKK ceasefire collapsed. Special police units have imposed 24-hour curfews on several towns in a bid to root out members of PKK’s urban youth wing.

The PKK took up arms in 1984, and more than 40,000 people, mainly Kurds, have died in the violence. Peace talks between the PKK and the state that began in late 2012 faltered earlier this year in the run-up to a general election.


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