8th anniversary of Cizre basement massacre

After the declaration of the curfew in Cizre on December 14, 2015, people taking shelters in basements were burned alive. Eight years have passed since the atrocity.


News Center- Eight years have passed since the 24-hour curfew was declared in the Cizre district of Şırnak province. During the 79-day curfew, 288 people were killed. 177 of them were burned alive in three basements. The curfew also displaced ten thousand people. What has been happening in Gaza today happened in Cizre eight years ago.

What had happened?

After the general elections held in Turkey in June 2015, the Kurdish peace process ended when two police officers were killed in Urfa. Then, 24-hour curfews were declared in many Kurdish districts, such as Sur, Cizre and Nusaybin. Following the declaration of the curfews, Turkish forces launched operations called “trench operations”. 24-hour temporarily curfews were declared in Cizre between September 2015 and February 2016. The last 24-hour curfew was declared in the district on December 14, 2015.

Journalists documented rights violations

During the curfews, journalists in Cizre tried to document the rights violations despite being targeted by Turkish forces. Their reports revealed the brutal massacres of civilians in the district. They did their best to make the voices of people asking for help.

‘They were burned alive’

During the curfew declared in Cizre on December 14, 2015, many people took shelter in three basements. Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) member Deya Koç was one of them. In a phone call with IMC TV, she reported that many people had been burned alive in a basement.

“There were about 20-25 injured people in the basement. We went upstairs to get some of our needs. About 20 people were in the basement. Turkish security forces poured gasoline on them and set them on fire. We could not help them. We just heard their cries. The Turkish military keeps bombing the building. I am calling for immediate medical help to get them to the hospital.”

After the phone call, Derya Koç was shot dead in the building. The people taking shelter in the basements were killed by the Turkish security forces. During the curfews, the Turkish security forces deliberately killed civilians, including children, when they were carrying white flags or trapped in basements. Although many videos and photos were shared on social media platforms, nothing was done to save civilians.

‘This will go down as the whole of humanity’s shame

Cizre People's Assembly co-chair Mehmet Tunç, another person in the basement, was connected to Özgür Gün Television and reported that there were 62 people, including injured people, in the basement.

“The situation is really critical. Now, we have five corpses alongside us. People are facing execution. The situation is critical. Now I am upstairs. I can hear the sound of gunfire. They are firing at the building from armored vehicles. Our security of life is not important. From now on, these people have no security of life. We will wait to either be executed in the basement or become targets of snipers by leaving the house. A great massacre is taking place in Cizre and we are facing a huge genocide. We are out of water. We cannot go out. The four-storey building has been demolished by mortars. Please stop this savagery.  I have no doubt that this will go down in history as Turkey's, as the whole of humanity's, even the United Nations’ shame.”

177 people were killed in the basements

During the curfew, at least 177 people, including 25 children, were burned alive or shot dead in the basements of Cizre by Turkish military forces. While 103 people were identified, 74 people were buried without being identified.

It will never be forgotten

Although people were openly killed in Cizre basements, no one has stood trial for the massacre. As the people calling for help in the basement, this massacre has gone  down in history as Turkey's, as the whole of humanity's, even the United Nations’ shame. The Cizre basement massacre will never be forgotten.