© 2024 WFAE

Mailing Address:
8801 J.M. Keynes Dr. Ste. 91
Charlotte NC 28262
Tax ID: 56-1803808
90.7 Charlotte 93.7 Southern Pines 90.3 Hickory 106.1 Laurinburg
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Turkish Troops Clamp Down on Kurdish Rebels

Turkish armored personnel carriers patrol a road in southeastern Turkey.  The military has declared much of southeast Turkey a "special security zone," a term locals say is the equivalent of martial law.
Ivan Watson, NPR
Turkish armored personnel carriers patrol a road in southeastern Turkey. The military has declared much of southeast Turkey a "special security zone," a term locals say is the equivalent of martial law.

There were angry scenes at the funerals of Turkish soldiers killed in clashes this week with Kurdish separatists known as the PKK.

Mourners demanded the government take harsher measures against the rebels. Since last spring, the Turkish military has openly called for cross-border operations to pursue PKK fighters that take shelter in the mountains of neighboring Iraq.

In one village, a Kurdish man, who only gives his first name as Mahmut, said the sound of battle is becoming increasingly common.

"There is no day passing without conflict and dying here," he said.

Like other ethnic Kurds in Sirnak, Mahmut describes the Turkish troops deployed there as occupiers that evicted him from his village a decade ago – and never let him return.

Mahmut says the current fighting reminds him of the 1990s when the guerilla war between PKK rebels and the Turkish military was at its worst.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Tags
United States & World Morning EditionAll Things Considered
Ivan Watson
Ivan Watson is currently based in Istanbul, Turkey. Following the 9-11 terrorist attacks, he has served as one of NPR's foreign "firemen," shuttling to and from hotspots around the Middle East and Central Asia.