In Turkey, residents of the southeastern town of Cizre are protesting the lack of water, food and electricity as a two-week government crackdown continues. Cizre is one of more than a dozen towns under mandatory curfew for over two weeks. The Turkish government says it is carrying out a massive military operation to target members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, known as the PKK. At least 10,000 Turkish troops, backed by tanks, have been deployed. But local residents say the military offensive has led to repression of Kurds at large, displacing an estimated 200,000 people and resulting in civilian casualties, including the recent death of a five-year-old boy and a three-month-old girl. In Cizre, shopkeeper Ramazan Simsek spoke out.
Ramazan Simsek: “The country is in a bad place right now. As tradesmen and citizens, we suffer from electricity being cut off, the water being cut off. Everyone, especially kids, are mentally not healthy. They can’t go to school; they’re spending so much time without education. The community is miserable right now.”