Gov’t won’t renovate clashes-hit cities unless Kurds vote ‘Yes’ in referendum

A painting of Kurdish artist and journalist Zehra Doğan on the Kurdish cities destroyed during clashes between outlawed PKK and Turkish security forces.

The ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AK Party) officials in Turkey’s eastern part has been threatening locals in the run-up to the presidential referendum, saying their homes, damaged amid clashes between military and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants, will not be renovate in case of a “No” vote, according to columnist Ahmet Takan.

“I met with one of reliable sources. He told me that AK Party’s provincial and district officials in Şırnak, İdil, Cizre, Nusaybin, Hakkari, Yüksekova, Diyarbakır/Sur where military carried out operations in residential areas, have spread a rumor that homes would not be renovated and that [prescheduled] construction plans would not be enforced unless residents do not vote Yes,” Takan wrote on Saturday.

A referendum on constitutional amendments, scheduled to take place on April 16, will open the way to a switch from a parliamentary system of governance to an executive presidency.

President Erdoğan and AK Party are pursuing an aggressive policy of propaganda ahead of the referendum.

Following the collapse of a settlement process for the Kurdish issue in Turkey in July 2015, there were repeated clashes between security forces and outlawed PKK members in southeastern provinces that resulted in nearly 200,000 locals leaving their homes due to fighting and curfews. ( March 5, 2017

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