MPs begin march on \'besieged\' Kurdish city in southeast Turkey

Friday 04/09/2015
Order to block the road was taken personally by Davutoglu

ISTANBUL (Turkey) - Deputies from Turkey\'s pro-Kurdish People\'s Democratic Party (HDP) on Wednesday began marching on a Kurdish city in the southeast that has been under curfew for six days amid growing alarm over a humanitarian crisis.
HDP co-leader Selahattin Demirtas and Ali Haydar Konca and Muslum Dogan, who represent the party in the Turkish caretaker cabinet, had sought to get to the town of Cizre in the southeastern Sirnak province by vehicle.
However police refused to let them drive beyond the town of Midyat.
Demirtas vowed that the delegation -- joined by other MPs and civilians -- would cover the rest of the 90 kilometres (56 miles) on foot.
\"Some 120,000 people haven\'t been able to go outside for six days due to the curfew in the (Cizre) district,\" Demirtas was quoted as saying by the CNN-Turk channel.
\"We are going to leave our vehicles here and we are going to walk next to the people,\" he said.
The party said that the order to stop the convoy had been taken personally by Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.
Dozens of people were marching up the road east to Cizre, with Demirtas leading the way in his shirtsleeves, a photographer reported.
Demirtas compared the situation Cizre to Israel\'s blockade of the Gaza Strip and vowed to \"do our best\" break the siege.
\"They can stop our convoy. But they can\'t stop us walking,\" he said.
HDP deputies have over the last days raised alarm over the situation in Cizre, which they described as a humanitarian catastrophe in a besieged city unnoticed by media.
The security forces have imposed the curfew as they step up a relentless operation against Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) rebels in the southeast.
According to Turkey\'s Human Rights Association (IDH) NGO, seven civilians have been killed by the security forces in Cizre since the curfew began on September 4, including two children. The figure has not been officially confirmed.
Pro-Kurdish media have said that the humanitarian situation is dire with food and medication running out and wounded not able to access hospitals.
According to unconfirmed reports, the dead have been kept in freezers as it is impossible to bury them.
Tensions have soared in Turkey in recent days after the PKK killed dozens of members of the Turkish security forces in attacks and nationalists raided HDP offices across the country over the last nights.