The new Turkey
Casualties of the Conflict with PKK in the period
July 2015 - December 2017
*

 

Total

Civilians

Youth of
Unknown Affiliation

PKK Militants

State Security
Forces

July 2015

36

1

5

14

16

August 2015

144

27

13

49

55

September 2015

198

35

11

87

65

Oktober 2015

93

10

10

44

29

November 2015

90

15

22

28

25

December 2015

104

35

19

22

28

Total 2015

665

123

80

244

218

 

 

Total

Civilians

Youth of
Unknown Affiliation

PKK Militants

State Security
Forces

January 2016

144

41

37

23

43

February 2016

232

33

75

49

75

March 2016

215

40

22

89

64

April 2016

211

17

0

136

58

May 2016

203

34

2

96

71

June 2016

133

18

3

72

40

July 2016

102

9

0

50

43

August 2016

155

19

0

72

64

September 2016

198

8

0

121

69

October 2016

164

19

0

97

48

November 2016

100

16

0

66

18

December 2016

76

9

0

8

59

Total 2016

1933

263

139

879

652

 

 

Total

Civilians

Youth of
Unknown Affiliation

PKK Militants

State Security
Forces

January 2017

29

3

0

15

11

February 2017

30

4

0

26

0

March 2017

89

2

0

79

8

April 2017

105

1

0

80

24

May 2017

60

2

0

33

25

June 2017

85

1

0

56

28

July 2017

84

10

0

62

12

August 2017

62

9

0

39

14

September 2017

92

11

0

69

12

October 2017

44

6

0

21

17

November 2017

56

2

0

41

13

December 2017

13

0

0

9

4

Total 2017

755

51

0

530

168

 
 

Total

Civilians

Youth of
Unknown Affiliation

PKK Militants

State Security
Forces

Total 2015

665

123

80

244

218

Total 2016

1933

263

139

879

653

Total 2017

755

51

0

530

168

Total

3353

437

219

1653

1039

Civilians and Youth of Unknown Affiliatio

Civilian deaths are checked by Crisis Group via reports in the Turkish-language press, as well as by reports from NGOs perceived to be pro-Kurdish, including the the Turkish Human Rights Foundation (TIHV) and the Association for Human Rights and Solidarity for the Oppressed  (Mazlum-Der) which have a strong track record as dependable sources of named casualties.

Those casualty claims are subsequently confirmed by Crisis Group, which considers an individual a civilian if they can be confirmed as non-combatants by press reports or other sources, if their age or other factors made their participation in armed hostilities unlikely, or/and if they died outside of an active conflict zone.

With the line between civilian and combatant deeply blurred by the emergence of plainclothes PKK youth militias in cities throughout the south east, some individuals cannot be positively identified as civilians, though they also remain unclaimed by the PKK or its affiliates. Implicitly, they represent a generation of Kurds born during the three-decade conflict and radicalised by clashes with security forces. Crisis Group identifies such men and women who were killed in areas of armed clashes and were between the ages of 16 and 35 as 'youth of unknown affiliation.

PKK Militants

Militants are identified through Turkish language press reports, or media outlets directly affiliated with the most active military wings of the PKK: the People's Defense Force (HPG), the Civil Protection Units (YPS); and the PKK affiliate (considered an 'offshoot' by some researchers) the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK) which release names and biographies of killed militants.

Confirmation of militant deaths is limited by the PKK's practice, for unknown reasons, to announce the names of dead militants weeks, months, or even years after they are killed in fighting, adding a significant delay to the PKK militant casualty count.

In May 2016, military sources claimed to the Turkish press that over 7,000 PKK militants had been killed since July 2015. Crisis Group only counts casualties which can be confirmed through its open-source methodology, and its numbers should not be seen as a refutation of casualty claims made by the Turkish government.

The exact day of death cannot be established for over 100 confirmed casualties, including civilians, ‘youth of unknown affiliation’ and PKK militants. These individuals overwhelmingly died in urban areas under prolonged curfews or in remote mountainous regions, and only the week or month of their deaths can be identified by Crisis Group. In the Crisis Group database, their names are added to the last day of each identified month.

State Security Forces
Turkey's state security force members are composed of soldiers, police officers and village guards. Crisis Group uses press reports of funerals and official announcements by the Turkish Armed Forces to establish its casualty tally. In addition to individuals killed in direct clashes with PKK militants, security force deaths include security officials slain while off duty. Crisis Group does not count traffic accidents, suicides or other non-conflict casualties unless they are explicitly linked to security operations by press reports.

* Source

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