Rights Group: Civilian Deaths Rise In Turkey’s Kurdish Areas

Rot police use water cannon and teargas to break up a protest in Diyarbakir, Turkey, Monday, Dec. 14, 2015. Police on Monday clashed with a group of Kurds following a protest by some 5,000 people denouncing a days long curfew imposed by the government in one neighborhood in the mainly Kurdish city of Diyarbakir. Two people were killed, a human rights group said. (AP Photo/Murat Bay)

Rot police use water cannon and teargas to break up a protest in Diyarbakir, Turkey, Monday, Dec. 14, 2015. Police on Monday clashed with a group of Kurds following a protest by some 5,000 people denouncing a days long curfew imposed by the government in one neighborhood in the mainly Kurdish city of Diyarbakir. Two people were killed, a human rights group said. (AP Photo/Murat Bay)

ISTANBUL — Human Rights Watch is urging Turkey to scale back security operations in Kurdish areas in the southeast, warning of rapidly rising casualties among civilians.

In a report released Tuesday, the group documented 15 civilian deaths during 24-hour curfews in September and November, noting that these were just a “sample” and called for a full investigation. It cited a local rights group who put the civilian death toll since July at over 100.

Periodic clashes have erupted between government forces and Kurdish opposition fighters since peace talks collapsed in July.

HRW senior Turkey researcher Emma Sinclair-Webb said “the Turkish government should rein in its security forces, immediately stop abusive and disproportionate use of force, and investigate the deaths and injuries caused by its operations.”

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