Villagers in Turkey’s southeastern Şırnak (Şirnex) province are unable to tend to their gardens and orchards as the ongoing military operation limits their access, Mezopotamya Agency reported on Tuesday.
Turkish soldiers have been positioned around the Ormaniçi (Bana) village since July, when clashes with Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) guerrillas after an airstrike gave way to the current operation.
Soldiers have been preventing villagers from staying out more than six hours per day, limiting the time they can spend tending their crops. In order to get the six-hour permit, villagers must agree to daily ID checks.
The province’s average summer temperature is 29°C (84°F), with a 40°C maximum. There are fewer than an average of 0.5 days of rainfall in the long-running hot season and poor water resources, making any agricultural activity dependent on irrigation.
Many villagers have had their homes raided since July, while several were briefly detained and accused of aiding and abetting a terrorist organisation.
Ormaniçi, located in the Kurdish heartland close to the Syrian border, had been evacuated and burned down twice during the 1990s, at the height of Turkey’s conflict with the PKK.
The temporary special security zone designation for the wider region, which includes 13 other neighbouring settlements and rural areas, is issued fortnightly, and was renewed on 12 September and 29 August most recently.