ECtHR rejects cases concerning curfews in Kurdish cities imposed by Turkish gov’t

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A man stands near a damaged building upon his arrival in Sirnak city on November 14, 2016 after a 246-day curfew was partially lifted. / AFP PHOTO / ILYAS AKENGIN

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) on Thursday rejected legal challenges to curfews imposed in Turkey’s Southeast in late 2015 and early 2016, stating that the applicants had not exhausted domestic remedies.

The Turkish government imposed curfews in towns such as Silopi, Cizre and Sur as part of military operations in the predominantly Kurdish southeastern region in a fight against Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) terrorists.

The operations were launched after a ceasefire and peace negotiations between the PKK and the ruling party fell apart in July 2015.

The military operations led to the death of a few hundred civilians as well as the destruction of residential areas of southeastern cities, according to journalists and human rights associations.

A total of 34 petitions were filed with the ECtHR claiming that Turkey abused human rights during the curfews.

The court decided to examine two applications and rejected them as inadmissible on Jan. 29.

Referring to its previous decision, the court rejected all the remaining applications to challenge the curfew, ruling them as inadmissible on Thursday.

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