Turkey has invited the UN high commissioner Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein to visit its southeastern region, following reports of violence against civilians by the Turkish military. The high ranking UN official had raised concerns about reported human rights violations by the military in the area, which is mainly Kurdish.
On 10 May, Al Hussein had said the UN had received reports from credible sources that unarmed civilians got shot at deliberately by snipers and gunfire. He also said there was disproportionate damage to property and infrastructure.
The most disturbing of all he said, are reports emerging from Cizre alleging more than 100 people were burnt alive as they took shelter in basements.
He urged Turkey to give the UN staff unimpeded access to the region to verify the truth of the reports.
The high commissioner added, "In 2016, to have such a lack of information about what is happening in such a large and geographically accessible area is both extraordinary and deeply worrying."
"Our southeastern Anatolia region can easily be visited by the international organizations operating in the human rights field. We are pleased to welcome mister Zeid in our country, including the southeastern Anatolia region," Turkey's Foreign Affairs ministry spokesperson Tanju Bilgic said as quoted by AA.
The UN statement comes soon after a car bomb that targeted police killed three people and injured 45 in Baglar district of Diyarbakir. In another incident early Tuesday, two police officers were killed while trying to diffuse a roadside bomb in Van province.
Additionally, Human rights Watch, a US-based group, said in a report on 10 May that Turkish border guards shot and injured Syrian refugees seeking asylum in Turkey. Between March and April, the Turkish guards reportedly used violence against several asylum seekers and smugglers.
Gerry Simpson, a senior refugee researcher at Human Rights Watch, said, "While senior Turkish officials claim they are welcoming Syrian refugees with open borders and open arms, their border guards are killing and beating them. Firing at traumatized men, women, and children fleeing fighting and indiscriminate warfare is truly appalling."