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PKK vs. Turkey: Violence plagues people of Basak

Turkish security forces expand their operations to urban areas in the southeast of the country.

SILOPI, Turkey — The mother’s face reveals a mix of emotions: grief for the loss of her 17-year-old son, shot while sitting on the front step at 9 a.m.; gratitude for the condolences of the people who fill her courtyard five days after the fatal event; and wariness of the foreign journalist who is visiting for the first time.

Zeynep Tamboga lives in a modest, two-story house in Silopi’s Basak district, which earned notoriety Aug. 7 when its young residents held off the police for four hours. The provincial governor’s office accused the youths of belonging to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), saying they attacked the police with rifles and rocket-propelled grenades from barricades and ditches dug to obstruct armored cars.

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