UN report: killings and destruction in the Southeast Turkey should be investigated

According to the report of UN Human Rights Office, about 2000 people had been killed in the operations between July 2015 and 31 December 2016 and about 500,000 had been displaced. Reminding that the government denied access for UN investigators, the office called for an urgent investigation.

UN Human Rights Office called for an investigation on the violations of human rights that had been committed during the military operations in 18 months. 

According to BBC Turkish, the committee led by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Raad El Hüseyin issued a report, informing that about 2000 people, including 800 security forces, had been killed and serious violations of human rights took place. 

The report also states that many security forces had been killed or wounded in PKK attacks. 

Serious violations of right

25-page report documents the findings concerning “extensive destruction, killings and serious violations of human rights” during the operations between July 2015 and December 2016. 

Human Rights Office called the government to launch an investigation concerning the alleged killings and other violations. 

It is also reminded that the government denied access for UN investigators to the southeastern cities that are densely populated by Kurds. 

500,000 people had been displaced

Containing the accounts of the residents and satellite images, the report states that the images indicate “an enormous scale of destruction of the housing stock by heavy weaponry" in more than 30 cities in the region. 

According to the report, "the number of reported displaced persons in South-East Turkey is estimated between 355,000 to half a million people, mainly citizens of Kurdish origin."

It is stated that, at the beginning of 2016, "up to 189 persons were trapped for weeks in basements without water, food, medical attention and power, during the coldest months of the year."

Collecting evidence and identifying bodies had been prevented

The report states, "The subsequent demolition of the buildings destroyed evidence and has therefore largely prevented the basic identification and tracing of mortal remains. Moreover, instead of opening an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the reported excessive use of force, recourse to heavy weapons and the resulting deaths, the local authorities accused the people killed of participating in terrorist organizations and took repressive measures affecting members of their families."

For reading the full report, click here.


Turkey Human Rights