DIYARBAKIR, Turkey (K24) - Three local activists, all women, were allegedly killed by Turkish police on Tuesday night in the town of Silopi in Sirnak province where a curfew entered its twenty-fifth day, according to the local branch of the Democratic Regions' Party (DBP).
Pakize Nayir (24), the co-head of the local branch of the DBP, Seve Demir (41) a member of the local committee of the same party, and Fatma Uyar, a "Free Women’s Congress" (KJA) activist were murdered. The DBP local branch broke the news to the K24 Diyarbakir bureau in a statement sent on Wednesday.
A Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) member of Parliament, Ferhat Encu confirmed the deaths of the activists on his Twitter account. K24 could not learn Uyar's age.
The co-head of the HDP branch in Silopi, Aycan Azma, told K24 over the phone that Nayir, Demir and Uyar were killed on the street while trying to flee from Karsiyaka neighborhood where fierce clashes between the Turkish Army, police and Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) affiliates were taking place.
Azma said, that all three, whom she called friends, were deliberately targeted and shot dead by the police.
"They were holding no guns. They were well-known politicians in our town. [The killings] are an attack on women; they want to silence the Kurdish women," she added, talking from her home in a neighborhood under curfew.
Hours after being shot, the women’s bodies could be removed from the street and taken to a hospital morgue in the city of Sirnak.
Both Nayir and Demir served time in prison, for four and five years respectively between the years 2009-2014. They were arrested during the notorious KCK operations (the Group of Communities in Kurdistan) that targeted thousands of Kurdish politicians, journalists and activists accused of "membership in a terrorist organization."
Seve Demir was also one of the hundreds of political prisoners that joined a hunger strike in 2012 to pressure Turkish government to let them defend themselves in Kurdish language at courts and start negotiations with the jailed PKK leader, Abdullah Ocalan.
The HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtas told reporters on Wednesday in Ankara at a meeting with a group of Turkish writers and intellectuals, that the activists were "executed, and their heads were smashed."
According to a report published last month by the Human Rights Association in Turkey, more than 500 people, including Turkish soldiers, police officers, Kurdish fighters and civilians have been killed in weeks-long, mostly urban clashes between the Turkish Army and the PKK since a ceasefire and peace negotiations collapsed last summer.
(Hesen Kako and Adnan Gerger contributed to this report from Diyarbakir and Ankara)