Locals were complaining at
months of government-backed security operations to root out members of the
militant Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) particularly in the district of Sur
which has been under lockdown since December 2.
The leader of the pro-Kurdish
opposition People’s Democratic Party (HDP), Selahattin Demirtas says civilians
have been the main casualties during the security crackdown, claiming 211
deaths it began.
At a conference in Ankara
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davotoglu accused the HDP, which is the third
biggest party in parliament, of collaborating with “terrorists”.
“For God’s sake, have you
ever heard them ask the PKK ‘why do you stain our politics by taking guns in
your hands?” They HDP don’t want peace. On the contrary, they want to drag
Turkey into chaos by collaborating with terrorists. We will not allow that.”
Parliamentary immunity should not protect lawmakers who “commit crimes”, he
A handful of cities in
Turkey’s south east have been engulfed in the worst violence since the 1990s
following a breakdown of a two-year ceasefire with the autonomy-seeking PKK