The Turkish government launched a military operation across 10 villages and hamlets in the Xîzan (Hizan) district of Turkey’s eastern Kurdish-majority province of Bitlis (Bedlîs) after a curfew was declared on Sunday.
The rural areas of the villages were subjected to bombardment throughout Monday night, accompanied by sporadic gunfire, Mezopotamya News Agency reported.
The bombardment continued until the morning hours on Tuesday, followed by a ground operation.
Meanwhile, several residents were arrested in house raids on Monday in villages where operations continued. The detainees are expected to testify before the prosecutor’s office today.
The ban on entry and exit from the settlements in Bitlis villages remains in effect, confining many villagers to their homes.
During the 1990s the mountainous countryside in the Hizan district of Bitlis was subjected to heavy bombardment, when the conflict between Turkey and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) was at its peak. Numerous Kurdish villages were evacuated by Turkish authorities during this period, on security grounds.