Turkey's prime minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, has announced that military operations against Kurdish rebels have ended in the town of Silopi. The military is still fighting militants linked to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in two other urban areas: Cizre and Diyarbakir's historic Sur neighbourhood.

Davutoglu said the operation in Silopi, near the border with Iraq, had ended "successfully" and that a 24-hour curfew has now been eased and reconstruction efforts will soon begin. Since December 2014, Silopi had been under a curfew that barred residents from leaving their homes. It also prevented journalists and observers from witnessing the fighting. The 24-hour curfew has now been replaced with a night-time curfew.

Families who had left Silopi to escape the fighting have begun returning to the town. Signs of extensive fighting are visible, with many shops and houses damaged. AFP photographer Ilyas Akengin visited the town as the curfew was lifted and photographed families surveying the ruins of their homes.

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Children look out from a window of an bullet-scarred houseIlyas Akengin/AFP
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A man holding an infant stands on the balcony of a damaged houseIlyas Akengin/AFP
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A woman enters her house from a hole in the wallIlyas Akengin/AFP
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A woman gestures as she complains about damage done to her house during fighting between government troops and separatist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) fightersIlyas Akengin/AFP
Turkey Kurds
A woman cries as she and her children stand in the ruins of their battle-damaged houseIlyas Akengin/AFP
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A boy walks in front of the ruins of a building damaged in the fighting between government troops and separatist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) fighters, in the Kurdish town of Silopi, in southeastern Turkey, close to the border with IraqIlyas Akengin/AFP
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Local residents peer out from holes in a building damaged in the fightingIlyas Akengin/AFP
Turkey Kurds
Local residents stand in the ruins of a house damaged in the fighting between government troops and PKK fightersIlyas Akengin/AFP
Turkey Kurds
A girl poses for a photograph in front of a wall bearing a picture of her school classIlyas Akengin/AFP
Turkey Kurds
A man sits in the ruins of a house damaged in the fightingIlyas Akengin/AFP
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A woman retreives bedding from the ruins of a house damaged in the fighting between government troops and separatist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) fightersIlyas Akengin/AFP
Turkey Kurds
A women and her children stand in the ruins of battle-damaged house in the Kurdish town of SilopiIlyas Akengin/AFP
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A women gestures towards a cradle as she and her children stand in the ruins of their house in the Kurdish town of Silopi,Ilyas Akengin/AFP
Turkey Kurds
A woman walks past the ruins of a building as curfew ends during daylight in the town of SilopiIlyas Akengin/AFP

The army says it killed more than 500 PKK rebels in the campaign, adding to a death toll of more than 40,000 people killed since the PKK took up arms in 1984. A Turkish human rights group said as many as 162 civilians have died caught up in the fighting since August 2015 — 26 of them in Silopi. President Tayyip Erdogan said some 300 police officers and soldiers have died in the conflict since July 2015.

The PKK, which says it is fighting for autonomy for Turkey's Kurds, is designated a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and European Union.