Turkey’s anti-terror operation in Cizre, a district in southeastern province of Sirnak, dominated Friday’s newspapers


World Bulletin / News Desk

Friday’s dailies dedicated their front pages to Turkey’s ongoing anti-terror operation in Cizre, a district that lies close to the Syrian and Iraqi borders in Turkey’s southeastern province of Sirnak.

Turkish security forces are conducting an anti-terror operation around the town to counter attacks from the terrorist PKK group, which has renewed its armed struggle against Turkish forces. The governor’s office declared a curfew in Cizre on Sept. 4.

“Cizre locked down,” was HURRIYET’s headline, reporting that heavy clashes were ongoing and explosions were heard Thursday night.

The daily quoted senior Republican People's Party (CHP) deputy Sezgin Tanrikulu as saying: “150,000 people are prisoners in 150,000-strong Cizre."

The daily also quoted Interior Minister Selami Altinok: “We consider that the terror organization’s [PKK] losses are 30-32 [people]."

“One civilian was killed and 11 police officers and four civilians were injured. 800 kilograms [1,760 pounds] of explosives have been destroyed,” Altinok said.

“Strike on PKK’s Cizre plan,” was MILLIYET’s headline, claiming that the militant group’s plan to turn Cizre into a “rebel zone”, i.e. another Kobani -- the Syrian town that was the scene of fierce clashes between Kurdish armed groups and ISIL militants -- has been averted thanks to the Turkish operation.

Featuring a picture of a street blocked with giant rocks in Cizre -- released by the Interior Ministry -- the newspaper said that around 1,500 riot police had conducted the operation.

HABERTURK also reported on an attempt by the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), of which the elected officials mostly come from these southeastern regions, to enter Cizre.

Aboard the convoy was HDP co-leader Selahattin Demirtas and dozens of HDP lawmakers, including two government ministers, the daily wrote.

Riot police stopped the convoy. The HDP members continued on foot until they were stopped again.

“Why has our entry [to Cizre] been blocked if there is nothing to hide?” Demirtas asked according to HABERTURK.

MILLIYET also featured a picture of the E.U. and Development HDP ministers, Ali Haydar Konca and Muslum Dogan respectively, walking on a barren hillside en route to Cizre after they were stopped by riot police.

“Cizre ruse was thwarted,” was YENI SAFAK’s headline. The daily featured pictures of Cizre streets blocked with sandbags while CUMHURIYET said that more than 20 civilians had been killed in the town.

Both HURRIYET and CUMHURIYET also reported on a call from HDP deputy Leyla Zana for an end to clashes between the PKK terrorist group and Turkish forces.

According to HURRIYET, Zana said: “I prefer dying rather that watching people die,” after announcing she would begin a hunger strike unless both sides would not cease fighting.

“No peace with a war declaration,” was HABERTURK’s headline quoting Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu who was interviewed by private channel ATV.

Turkish dailies also collected reactions from two days of protests that erupted in response to Sunday's PKK attack in southeastern Turkey, in which 16 soldiers were martyred. In several instances the demonstrations degenerated and incidents of violence and destruction against Kurdish property were reported.

“We are not traitors,” was VATAN’s headline, quoting an uncle of recently martyred soldier Gokhan Cakir.

The daily quoted Cakir’s uncle who said his shop was attacked because of his Kurdish origin: “We are Kurdish, but we are not traitors. (…) There are seven soldiers [in the Turkish army] bearing my last name.”

Gokhan Cakir died in the southern province of Hatay along Turkey’s border with Syria in a suspected gun attack from the Syrian side early Thursday.

VATAN wrote that the Cakir family was originally from Turkey’s eastern province of Mus but had later moved to the Aegean province of Izmir.

The daily also ran an interview with another shop owner from the central Anatolian province of Kirsehir.

According to VATAN, Abdulbaki Agirman said that he was a son of a martyred soldier -- who died in 1993 reportedly at the hands of PKK terrorists -- and that his shop was attacked because he was Kurdish.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 11 Eylül 2015, 12:52