The United Nations has accused Turkish Security forces of committing serious human rights violations in their operations against Kurdish militants in the southeastern regions of the country.
The Friday report by the UN rights office provided detailed evidence of “massive destruction, killings and numerous other serious human rights violations committed between July 2015 and December 2016 in southeast Turkey.”
The report noted that nearly 500,000 people, mostly Kurds, have been displaced as a result of “government security operations.”
It also called on the Ankara government to investigate alleged killings and other abuses in Turkey’s southeast
The UN human rights chief, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, also noted the “complex challenges” that Turkey has faced since a failed coup in July 2016.
The report cites allegations of cases including torture, enforced disappearances, incitement to hatred, and violence against women.
Security forces in Turkey have launched one of their largest “anti-terrorist” operations over the past years against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militant group in the country’s troubled southeast.
Sources said on Monday that some 7,000 Turkish gendarmerie soldiers, 600 special forces along with dozens of tanks and helicopters had been deployed to Lice district in Diyarbakir Province.
Provincial governor’s office said in a statement that 18 villages in Lice had been placed under strict curfew until further notice.
Turkey has declared the PKK a terrorist organization and has banned it. The militant group has been seeking an autonomous Kurdish region since 1984.
A shaky ceasefire between the PKK and the Turkish government collapsed in July 2015. Attacks on Turkish security forces have soared ever since.
Over the past few months, Turkish ground and air forces have been carrying out operations against the PKK positions in the country’s southeastern border region as well as in northern Iraq and neighboring Syria.
More than 40,000 people have been killed during the three-decade conflict between Turkey and the autonomy-seeking militant group.