Residents of the southeastern Turkish town of Cizre leave their homes for the first time after a nine-day, round-the-clock curfew is lifted. Nathan Frandino reports.
After a nine-day curfew, Cizre residents are getting their first glimpse of the destruction wrought by intense fighting between Kurdish militants and the Turkish army. Bullet holes and bombed out buildings are on every street of this city, which sits near Turkey's border with Iraq and Syria. Residents blame President Tayyip Erdogan. (SOUNDBITE) (Kurdish) UNNAMED WOMAN RESIDENT OF CIZRE, SAYING: "We were terrified. We didn't have electricity. We were starving to death. What on the earth did we do to deserve this? I hope God will punish you for this Erdogan." So far, rights groups say the past two months of clashes between the government and the Kurdistan Workers Party have killed dozens of civilians, more than 100 police and soldiers, and hundreds of rebels. Selahattin Demirtas of the Peoples' Democratic Party, the first pro-Kurdish party to enter parliament, condemned the curfew. (SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) HDP LEADER SELAHATTIN DEMIRTAS SAYING: "We have wounded brothers and sisters. I wish them a speedy recovery. I hope they will be fully on the mend soon. As for you, people of Cizre, 120,000 people were kept as hostages here for ten days. You were under bombardment day and night for ten days." The fighting between the PKK and the state resumed in July after the collapse of a ceasefire, leaving residents here and throughout Turkey to bare the brunt of the increasingly deadly violence.