Turkey lifts second curfew in southeastern Cizre town

#TurkeyAtWar

Turkey says there should be no distinction made between 'terrorists' groups as Ankara views IS and PKK militants similarly

A man looks at a damaged van following clashes between Turkish forces and militants of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in the city of Cizre, in southeastern Turkey, on 12 September 2015 (AFP)
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Monday 14 September 2015 8:35 UTC
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A curfew imposed in Turkey’s southeastern Cizre town since Sunday evening has been lifted, an official statement announced Monday.

Cizre town is located in Sirnak province.

This was the second curfew imposed in Cizre since Saturday, where security operations against militants from the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) were on going still.

The curfew began at 7 p.m., local time (0400GMT) Sunday and ended at 7 a.m., local time (0400GMT) Monday, the regional governor's office said in a statement.

The second curfew came within 36 hours of the first one, which lasted eight days and ended at 7 a.m., local time (0400GMT) Saturday.

Turkish security forces have been conducting military operations around Cizre and other provinces to counter PKK attacks.

Following a suicide bomb attack in July -- blamed on Islamic State (IS) militants -- in the province of Sanliurfa that killed 33 people, PKK militants have renewed its armed campaign against Turkish forces.

The violence has stalled the "solution process”, officially launched in early 2013, which aimed at ending the 30-year conflict between the PKK and the Turkish state.

Since July, more than 100 members of the security forces have been killed and hundreds of PKK militants killed in operations across Turkey and northern Iraq, including airstrikes, according to official Turkish sources.

Turkish PM calls for no distinction between 'terrorists'

Meanwhile, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has said that Turkey viewed 'terrorist' acts from PKK and IS militants similarly.

Davutoglu was speaking at the NATO’s Military Committee conference in Istanbul late Saturday.

There should not be "any distinction between different terrorist organizations," said Davutoglu. 

"We are very upset sometimes when we see some of our allies are making a distinction between Daesh and PKK terrorism." 

"No religious or cultural or national difference legitimizes any terrorist activities," he added.

Davutoglu said that Turkey had lost 113 security personnel, 58 civilians in recent attacks by militant groups. He added several hundreds of people had been injured.

"We have to stand shoulder to shoulder against any type of terrorism," he said. "We need your support especially of course in order to deal with (…) terrorist groups."

"In Turkey when you turn to the south, you see Syria and Iraq, to the north Ukraine, in the Caucasus a potential crisis in Georgia, in the Balkans, [there are] several risks, so you have to always be on alert," he said.



People hold Turkish flags during a rally on 12 September 2015 in Ankara to protest against terrorist attacks (AFP)