Rome, Italy– On Sunday Turkish military officials said they had killed twelve fighters of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the Kurdish city of Van in northern Kurdistan. However, Kurds in the region say that the Turkish forces had stormed a civilian home and killed innocent people.
"The police were tracking the group, but we also received related notices from our citizens,” said Ibrahim Tasyapan, governor of the Van province. He also revealed that two Turkish special forces troops were slightly wounded in the operation.
The Daily Sabah, a Turkish, pro-government newspaper, said, “a police officer has been killed and two others have been wounded during an anti-terror operation against the PKK in eastern Van province on Sunday, where 12 terrorists were killed.”
The newspaper's website reported that “30 grenades, 12 long-barreled weapons and a machine gun were seized during a search of the premises.”
In the aftermath of the raid, videorecordings appeared on social media, showing dead bodies lying in the snow in Van province. According to residents, the dead were Kurds between the ages of 18 and 25.
"They are all young people in civilian clothes, as has been conveyed to us by those who saw the bodies. This is a mass execution,” said Tugba Hezer, an official of the pro-Kurdish HDP, to the Firat News Agency.
Since the fallout of clashes between the Turkey and the Kurds, nearly 200 civilians got killed. The Turkish government has imposed more than 54 curfews in 18 Kurdish cities since July 2015, were fighting between the Turkish government and the PKK resumed.
The renewed war shatters a peace process between the two sides, which some saw as a hope for the country. Others, however, say that the peace process just served Turkish President Erdogan and his own policies.
Although Turkey has a native Kurdish population of nearly 20 million, the country denied them their basic human and civil rights. Kurds are still afraid to speak their language, give their children Kurdish names or to call their home Kurdistan.
While on the one side the Kurds claim their ancestral land, Kurdistan, back, most Turks see the eastern part of modern-day Turkey as an indivisible part of their country. In a three-decade war between Turkey and the PKK, more than 40.000 people have been killed, with no side gaining any real advantage over the other.