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How Ankara and the PKK misread civilians’ reactions to ongoing violence

As Kurdistan Workers Party violence intensifies in Turkey's cities, civilian Kurds are paying the price.
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Armed violence is the most used instrument of power for organizations such as the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) to impose their political agendas. But in recent months there have been signs that the PKK is having trouble managing this violence. The latest example came May 10 in the Durumlu village of Turkey's Diyarbakir’s Sur district, when a massive explosion killed 16 civilians.

According to villagers' statements, Orhan Yakar noticed a suspicious truck that night near his house. Yakar, who has been wary of recent animal thefts, asked the driver his identity and why he was in Durumlu. Yakar was not satisfied with the driver’s responses and began arguing with him, but the driver pulled out his pistol and warned Yakar to go away. Yakar went to his house to get his own weapon and called on his relatives to help him. As the truck was driving away, villagers pursued it in several vehicles.

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