A video widely shared on Twitter on Friday night shows patrol teams on streets of Diyarbakır’s Sur district forcing school kids and their parents to remove their coats and show their naked bellies to ensure they carry no explosives.
In the video that apparently was recorded by other police officers in patrol car during days of armed clashes in the Kurdish populated region, a police officer stops school kids aged between 10 to 12 for security check, asks them to remove their coats and show their abdomen area despite the cold weather.
The officer also stops other women, attending school kids and asks them to show their bellies in various similar footage.
Police officers in patrol car are heard speaking about kids and women sometimes pejoratively and calling them “terrorists.”
Following the breakdown of a cease-fire in July 2015, clashes broke out between people affiliated with the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and Turkish security forces. In response to declarations of “self-governance,” the building of barricades and digging of trenches in Sur, the central district of Diyarbakır, and other towns across the Southeast, authorities began imposing 24-hour curfews and carrying out heavily militarized security operations.
On Dec. 11, 2015, an indefinite 24-hour curfew was declared in six of Sur’s 15 neighborhoods, preventing people from leaving their homes even to buy essential food or medical supplies. Police reportedly used loudspeakers to order people to leave. Water and electricity were cut for extended periods, while homes were rocked by army shells and peppered with bullets.
The clashes in Sur ended in March 2016, but the curfew has remained in large parts of the district. Following the forced evictions, almost all properties have been expropriated by Turkish authorities, with many buildings also demolished. Although return has been made almost impossible by the curfew and the destruction, some residents have ventured back only to find their homes ransacked and possessions looted or destroyed.