Bellingcat @bellingcat Award-winning open source investigation. Want to donate? See here: Jul. 03, 2019 1 min read

Our latest report, by Nino Kandelaki, examines the use and development of checkpoints in south-east Turkey — and how they are part of a larger and more permanent security strategy. 

We checked every major highway in southeastern Turkey for checkpoints using satellite imagery from free sources, such as Google Earth, as well as subscription services.

We used this imagery to track the establishment & development of 73 checkpoints.

These checkpoints were developed in parallel with a new security strategy which expanded local security apparatus & emphasized pre-emptive security measures.

The aim of this strategy is to “neutralize the PKK threat in its base” 

We identified what appears to have been a systematic shift to building more permanent checkpoints after the end of direct combat operations in those areas.

The checkpoint northeast of Cizre is a good example of this kind of development.

Apparently non-existent in 2015, in 2016 a checkpoint with chicanes and blast-walls was established.

By 2018 this had become an established fortification.

The checkpoints observed in this report are only one component of a larger counterterrorism strategy focused on degrading the PKK’s ability to operate.

However, they do indicate that the central government does not intend to demilitarize the region in the near future.

Again, you can (and should!) read the full report here. 

You can follow @bellingcat.


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