Human Rights Foundation of Turkey – Curfews Between August 16, 2015 – August 16, 2016 And Civilians Who Lost Their Lives

Curfews have been implemented in south-eastern Turkey since the collapse of the Kurdish-Turkish peace process in July 2015, yet their unlawfulness has been declared by the Venice Commission in its official Opinion on the legal framework governing curfews. In the period between August 16, 2015 and August 16, 2016 there are at least 111 officially confirmed, open-ended and round-the-clock curfews in place, in at least 35 districts or 9 cities in south-eastern Turkey. These cities are: Diyarbakir (61 times), Mardin (18 times), Sirnak (13 times), Hakkâri (11 times), Mus (2 times), Bingöl (2 times), Elazig (1 time), Batman (2 times) and Tunceli (1 time).

According to the data of Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (HRFT) Documentation Center, between August 16, 2015 and August 16, 2016 at least 321 civilians lost their lives in those regions. Moreover, at least another 1,671 residents have been negatively affected by these curfews. Other fundamental rights, such as the right to health, the right to information, and the right to know the truth have been severely infringed upon.

This report provides officially documented facts, and elucidate dozens of undocumented cases of death and injury during the curfews in the above-mentioned regions. It also mentions the alleged violation of various other human rights and freedoms. The report emphasizes that Turkey is under an obligation to carry out immediate, impartial, independent and effective investigations in all the regions of the Southeast that have been affected by the curfews. The obligation to conduct such investigations is particularly imperative when it comes to the violation of the right to life.

The right to independent and impartial investigations is itself a reparatory measure, and the findings of such investigations may in turn trigger the obligation to make further repair for exposed violations of humanitarian law and human rights standards in the context of the non-international armed conflict between the Turkish government and the PKK.