Cizre, Sep 18 () - More than 20 civilians died in the southeastern town of Cizre of the Şırnak province in clashes during the eight-day curfew between Sept. 4 and 12, eyewitnesses and relatives of the dead have told news website Radikal, elaborating on how the civilian deaths occurred.
Sait Çağdavul, an 18-year-old boy living on Özkan Street of Cizre’s Nur neighborhood, died on Sept. 5 after he was shot in the throat, his father Abdullah Çağdavul said. “My son lost his life in half an hour after he got shot. He has nothing to do with goings-on outside.”
Mehmet Emin Levent, 21, a truck driver living on Kaynar Street in Nur, was dead on Sept. 5 after he was shot in the head, Levent’s uncle, Ahmet Levent, said. “His father died in the month of Ramadan. He was the one who took care of the family. My nephew lost his life, too, on Sept. 5, but we were able to bury his body on Sept. 13.”
On Sept. 6, Cemile Çağırga, a 13-year-old girl living in Cizre’s Cudi neighborhood, died shortly after she was shot. Her body was taken to a freezer, her family said, because of the hot weather and since the body was already not able to be buried due to clashes outside. “Cemile’s death did rattle us, but not as dreadfully as much as putting her body into a deep freezer did. My mom stood still all along by the freezer,” Cemile’s brother, Musa, said.
Osman Çağlı, 18, living in Cudi, was shot on Ziraat Street around 4:30 p.m. on Sept. 6, but lost his life on Sept. 7 because he was not allowed to be taken to the hospital, his father, Nuri Çağlı said. “My son was preparing for the university entrance exam and wanted to get a job. He was shot for no reason.”
Meryem Süne, a 45-year-old woman living in Cizre’s Yafes neighborhood with her seven children, was shot in the kidneys on Sept. 8 as she approached her yard door to close it, her son, Salih, said. “My mom waited for ambulance for one hour and a half and she lost her life because of this. If the ambulance could have arrived, she would have been alive.”
On Sept. 9, Bahattin Sevinik, 50, a man living in Nur, was shot on Botaş Street and lost his life at the scene.Suphi Saral, a 47-year-old man from Nur, was shot on the same day as Sevinik was when he rushed to help Sevinik out, Saral’s brother Abdullah said. “[My brother] lost his life because he wanted to save his friend’s life.”
Among the others who lost their lives on Sept. 9 were Özgür Taşkın, an 18-year-old boy living in Yafes, and Bünyamin İrci, a 15-year-old boy living in Cizre’s Kale neighborhood.
Other civilians who lost their lives on Sept. 10 were reported to be Selman Ağır, 10, Eşref Erdin, 60, Maşallah Edin, 40, Zeynep Edin, 18, and Sait Nayci, 17.
The civilian who lost his life on Sept. 11 was identified as Mehmet Erdoğan, 74. The other civilians who lost their lives due to inaccessibility of hospitals were reportedly Muhammet Tahir Yaramış, Mehmet Dikmen, Mehmet Emin Açık, Hacı Ata Borçin and Hetban Bülbül.
A curfew was in effect in Cizre between Sept. 4 and 12, leaving its residents deprived of health, funeral services and access to food for days, according to witnesses and photographs from the town.
The second curfew was declared at 7 p.m. on Sept. 13 and it was lifted early Sept. 14, a move that rocked the town, where putative operations to apprehend members of the “separatist terrorist organization” – an official euphemism for the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) – were ongoing and came just 36 hours after the state lifted a siege of more than a week and resulted in the deaths of more than 20 civilians.
Around 40 PKK militants were killed during the eight-day curfew in Cizre, Şırnak Governor Ali İhsan Su said on Sept. 17 in a press briefing held in coordination with Şırnak Police Department Head Celal Sel and Şırnak Gendarmerie Command Head Sami Özturan.
He also said 17 suspected militants had been detained in operations during the curfew between Sept. 4 and 11.
Twenty-five police officers were injured in security operations during the eight-day curfew and seven guarded police vehicles were damaged as militants carried out attacks with 21 rockets, 19 hand grenades and two road-side bombings, he added.