This COI Focus describes the security situation in Tukey since 12 July 2015, when the cease-fire between the Turkish government and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (Partiya Karkeren Kurdistan, PKK) came to an end, and more specifically the situation between 24 March 2017 (date of the previous update) and 14 September 2017.
The security situation in Turkey is determined mainly by the conflict between the PKK and the Turkish government. Between March and September 2017, this conflict took the form of attacks and armed confrontations between PKK militants and Turkish security forces in the southeast of the country.
Since the end of the cease-fire in July 2015, clashes have been taking place almost daily between the PKK and Turkish security forces. Between August 2015 and April 2016, the heaviest fighting took place in urban areas placed under curfew by the authorities in order to regain control from Kurdish armed groups. Since May 2016, fighting has moved from the cities, and clashes currently take place almost exclusively in rural areas. The International Crisis Group has observed a decrease in their intensity and in the number of casualties since November 2016 and describes clashes as “low-intensity” in 2017.
Armed clashes take place in the east and mostly southeast of Turkey. Most of the fighting – and that responsible for 90% of civilian and military casualties - affects rural areas in the provinces of Diyarbakir, Mardin, Sirnak, Hakkari and Bitlis.
More than 400 civilians have been killed in the fighting since the summer of 2015, according to non-governmental sources.
Since July 2015, more than 252 curfews have been imposed in districts of eastern and south-eastern Turkey, with more than half in Diyarbakir province alone. Several international observers accused the Turkish government of excessive and indiscriminate use of force resulting in civilian deaths and the destruction of whole neighbourhoods, as well as other serious human rights violations during the curfews in 2015 and 2016.
As of 17 August 2017, curfews were in force in just three rural districts of the provinces of Diyarbakir, Hakkari and Bitlis.
Since 2016, the authorities have launched several ambitious reconstruction projects in areas affected by the fighting.
Turkey was hit by several terrorist attacks in 2015 and 2016 but since January 2017, no terrorist attack or other notable security incident has been reported outside of south-eastern Turkey.
The policy implemented by the Commissioner General is based on a thorough analysis of accurate and up-to-date information on the general situation in the country of origin. This information is collated in a professional manner from various, objective sources, including the EASO, the UNHCR, relevant international human rights organisations, non-governmental organisations, professional literature and coverage in the media. When determining policy, the Commissioner General does not only examine the COI Focuses written by Cedoca and published on this website, as these deal with just one aspect of the general situation in the country of origin. The fact that a COI Focus could be out-of-date does not mean that the policy that is being implemented by the Commissioner General is no longer up-to-date.
When assessing an application for asylum, the Commissioner General not only considers the actual situation in the country of origin at the moment of decision-making, he also takes into account the individual situation and personal circumstances of the applicant for international protection. Every asylum application is examined individually. An applicant must comprehensively demonstrate that he has a well-founded fear of persecution or that there is a clear personal risk of serious harm. He cannot, therefore, simply refer back to the general conditions in his country, but must also present concrete, credible and personal facts.
There is no policy paper for this country available on the website.