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Issue #1742      August 3, 2016

Turkey’s war on Kurds

Turkey claimed to have killed 35 Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) fighters in two days while fending off an attack on a military base last week. July 31 marked the first anniversary of renewed war between the Kurdish separatist organisation and the Turkish state.

Upheavals in the military since the July 15 failed coup have not affected the ongoing conflict, which Turkey’s Human Rights Foundation estimates has forced more than 355,000 people out of their homes.

A report on the south-eastern city of Nusaybin, which the largely Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) sent a delegation to inspect last week, found that more than 80 percent of residents had been forced to flee at some point over the past year and about half – 45,000 people – were still displaced.

The military continues to impose open-ended curfews on Kurdish areas and one in Nusaybin had been in force for 134 days before being eased last week.

PKK foreign relations chief Riza Altun claimed that “the real coup” was being implemented by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in response to the botched military putsch as he cements his authority via military purges and clamps down on the press and judiciary.

But Altun did not express support for the failed attempt, saying the army too was “anti-Kurdish” and that the military and Erdogan were as bad as each other.

Morning Star

Next article – UN cites workers’ rights

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