Since July 20015 the Turkey’s mainly Kurdish southeast has seen a surge in violence with daily clashes between the Turkish army and the militants from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). The escalation has shattered a two-year ceasefire that had raised hopes of an end to three decades of fighting, in which more than 40,000 people have been killed.
In several towns and cities of the southeast groups of young Kurds not incorporated in the traditional PKK chain-command and belonging to the Patriotic Revolutionary Youth Movement (YDG-H) have taken up arms, dug trenches and erected barricades to seal off neighborhoods and prevent the advances of security forces.
In response, Turkish government forces have declared emergency rules, imposed curfews and implemented repressive measures against Kurds. A number of towns in the southeast have turned into bloody battlefields and massive security operations are under way against the Kurdish armed movement, under which dozens of civilians have died. As clashes between armed opposition fighters and security forces have intensified, the civilian death toll is likely to rise steeply in the coming months and a prolongation of the current regional unrest could escalate into a widespread civil war.