Curfew imposed in 21 Diyarbakır neighborhoods

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Turkish soldiers prepare themselves for military action during a curfew on February 26, 2016 at Diyarbakir's historical Sur district, eastern Turkey. / AFP PHOTO / ILYAS AKENGIN

The Diyarbakır Governor’s Office on Sunday declared a curfew in 21 neighborhoods in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır as part of operations against members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

According to the statement the curfew will be in effect from 5 p.m. until a second notice is issued in 21 neighborhoods of the Lice, Hani, Kocaköy and Silvan districts of Diyarbakır province.

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister and Justice and Development Party (AKP) government spokesperson Numan Kurtulmuş has blamed the PKK for a bomb attack in the central province of Kayseri on Saturday.

14 soldiers were killed and 56 others were injured in a car bomb attack on a bus carrying off-duty soldiers and civilians on Saturday morning in Kayseri.

He said the attack was very similar to twin bomb attacks in İstanbul last Saturday that claimed the lives of 44 people and injured 166 others.

The Kurdistan Freedom Hawks (TAK), an offshoot of the PKK, claimed responsibility for the twin bombings in İstanbul.

Turkish authorities had conducted direct talks with jailed PKK chief Abdullah Öcalan for several years until a truce in effect collapsed in the summer of 2015. Since then, there have been heavy clashes between the PKK and Turkish security forces.

More than 40,000 people, including 5,500 security force members, have been killed in four decades of fighting between the Turkish state and the PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US and the EU.

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