Urgent call for international solidarity: Lift the siege of Silvan

By Baris Bloku (Peace Alliance) Turkey


The Turkish government has abandoned the peace process which led to at least two years during which almost no-one died in clashes with security forces.

After a campaign for the June general election, marred by 170 violent attacks on offices of the HDP and bombings of the Mersin and Adana offices of the HDP, 4 people were killed and many injured by a bomb at the final election rally of the HDP in Diyarbakır.

After the election denied the AK Party a majority in parliament, the violence increased massively. 33 young people on a humanitarian mission to Kobane were killed by a bomb in Suruç. As the death toll increased, some local authorities in Kurdish areas declared “autonomy” in order to protect their inhabitants.

The response by the Turkish government has been a series of attacks on these areas by security forces. 24 hour curfews are declared and soldiers and special forces police teams then attack neighbourhoods, placing snipers on rooftops and shooting anyone who emerges onto the streets. Many civilians, including women children and the old have been killed.

The latest of these attacks is in Silvan

Since 2 November the neighbourhoods of Tekel, Mescit and Konak in the town of Silvan in the province of Diyarbakır in South East Turkey have been under the occupation of Turkish police special forces and the Turkish army.

There is a 24 hour curfew. Civilians are unable to leave their houses for basic necessities, or even to take the wounded for medical treatment or bury the dead. People are hiding in basements while armoured cars roam the streets raking buildings with machine gun fire. Tanks have been located on surrounding high ground and are shelling these residential neighbourhoods. Helicopters have also been used to fire at the area. The numbers of dead and wounded cannot be accurately known, but are believed to include women, children and the old.

Ziya Pir, a Peoples Democratic Party (HDP) Member of Parliament elected from this area, reports that he attempted to intervene with an official of the Ministry of the Interior and was told, “We will wipe these three neighbourhoods from the map”. 

Ziya Pir reports as follows:

“They are shooting indiscriminately everywhere. Soldiers, police and completely unregistered people, what I can only call ‘headhunters’ are raking buildings from top to bottom with machine gun fire. Tanks have been positioned overlooking these neighbourhoods. We cannot enter the neighbourhoods.

“Information we have from inside is that people are hiding in groups of 10-15 in the cellars of buildings. No-one can go outside, because there are snipers located on the roof tops. If they see even a shadow inside a house or any sign of life, they open fire. In previous operations there would sometimes be a break of an hour or two. Now shooting is round the clock without a break.”

On 15-16 November the G20 conference will be hosted by the Turkish government in Antalya

Meanwhile that same government is engaged in indiscriminate slaughter of its own civilians. These attacks took place throughout the campaign for the recent election and are continuing after it. All the targets are areas where there were high votes for the HDP.

The G20 meeting is of considerable prestige value to the Turkish government and unfortunately European governments are now soft pedalling on criticisms of human rights violations in Turkey in the hope that the Turkish government will restrict the flow of refugees to Europe. You intervention can make a difference. 

Please express your concern about these recent developments in Turkey.

To save lives, we need the security forces to cease operations against the civilian population and allow members of parliament and independent international observers access to these areas.

Send your communications to:

Minister of Foreign Affairs
Feridun Hadi Sinirlioğlu
Dr. Sadık Ahmet Cad. No:8 Balgat
Phone: (90-312) 10 00

Web site: www.mfa.gov.tr


Please send the copy of your communications to:

E Mail:barisbloku@gmail.com



78’LİLER GİRİŞİMİ (78’s Inıciative)

AKADEMİ SUSMAYACAK (The Academy won’t be silenced)

AKADER ALEVİ KÜLTÜR DERNEKLERİ (Alevi Cultural Organizations)

ALEVİ BEKTAŞİ FEDERASYONU (Alevi-Bektashi Federation)


BARIŞ GİRİŞİMİ (Peace Initiative)


BARIŞ İÇİN KADIN GİRİŞİMİ (Women Initiative for Peace)

BAŞLANGIÇ DERGİSİ (Başlangıç Magazine)

CHP VEKİLLERİ (Diputies of Peoples’ Republican Party-CHP)

DBP (Demokratik Bölgeler Partisi) (Democratic Regions Party)


DEMOKRATİK İSLAM KONGRESİ (Demoratic İslam Congress)

DEVRİMCİ HAREKET (Revolutionary Movement)

DHF (Demokratik Haklar Federasyonu) (Democratic Rights Confederation)

DİK (devrimci İşçi Komiteleri) (Revolutionary Workers’ Comitees)

DİP (Devrimci İşçi Partisi) (Revolutionary Worker Party)

DİSK (Devrimci İşçi Sendikaları Konfederasyonu) (Revolutionary Workers’ Unions’ Confederation)

DSİP (Devrimci Sosyalist İşçi Partisi) (Revolutionary Socialist Worker Party)

DTK (Demokratik Toplum Kongresi) (Democratic Community Congress)

EHP(Emekçi Hareket Partisi) (Labour Movement Party)

EMEK VE TOPLUM ARAŞTIRMALARI MERKEZİ (Center of Labour and Society Investigations)

EMEP (Emek Partisi) (Labour Party)

ESP (Ezilenlerin Sosyalist Partisi) (Socialist Party of Oppresseds)

GESOS (Genç Sosyal Demokratlar) (Young Social Democrats)

GİYİM SEN (Textile Union)

HALKEVLERİ (Community Centers)

HDK (Halkların Demokratik Kongresi) (Democratic Congress of Peoples)

HDP (Halkların Demokratik Partisi) (Peoples Democratic Party)

HELSİNKİ YURTTAŞLAR DERNEĞİ (Helsinki Citizens Association)

İHD (İnsan Hakları Derneği) (Human Rights Association)

İŞÇİ DEMOKRASİSİ PARTİSİ (Party of Worker’s Democracy)

KALDIRAÇ (Magazine)

KESK (kamu emekçileri sendikaları konfederasyonu) (Public Workers Unions Confederation)

KJA (Özgür Kadınlar kongresi) (Free Women Congress)

KÜRESEL BAK (Global Peace and Justice Coalition)

ÖDP (Özgürlük ve Dayanışma Partisi) (Freedom and Solidarity Party)

ÖZERK SANAT KONSEYİ (Autonomous Art Council)

PARTİZAN (Magazine)

PİR SULTAN ABDAL KÜLTÜR DERNEĞİ (Pir Sultan Abdal Cultural Association)

SDP (Sosyalist Demokrasi Partisi) (Socialist Democracy Party)

SFK (Sosyalist Feminist Kolektif) (Socialist Femminist Collective)

SODAP (Sosyalist Dayanışma Platformu) (Socialist Solidarity Platform)

SODEV (Sosyal Demokrasi Vakfı) (Socialist Democracy Foundation)

SOSYAL ARAŞTIRMALAR VAKFI (Foundation for Social Investigations)

SYKP (Sosyalist Yeniden Kuruluş Partisi) (Socialist Refoundation Party)

TMMOB (Türk Mühendis ve Mimar ve Odaları Birliği) (Turkish Arquitects and Engineers Association)

TODAP (Toplumsal Dayanışma için Psikologlar Derneği) (Psychologists Association for Social Solidarity)

TÖP-G (Toplumsal Özgürlük Parti Girişimi) (Social Liberty Party Iniciative)

TTB (Türk Tabipleri Birliği) (Turkish Medical Association)

TÜRKİYE GERÇEĞİ (Turkey’s Reality)

ÜNİVERSİTE ÖĞRETİM ÜYELERİ DERNEĞİ (Association of University Lecturers)

TYS (Türkiye Yazarlar Sendikası) (Writers Union of Turkey)

YEŞİLLER VE SOL GELECEK PARTİSİ (Greens and the Left Party of the Future)

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KPnet 15. november 2015