Hundreds of families in Şırnak waiting for new homes 8 years after devastating clashes

People walk by the bombed buildings after the months long curfew in Turkey’s southeastern province of Şırnak.

Many families in Şırnak whose houses were destroyed during a 2015 episode of violence between the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the security forces, still have not been provided with new residences, the Yeni Yaşam newspaper reported on Thursday.

The families were promised new apartments to be constructed by the state-run housing authority, TOKİ.

The clashes in 2015 and 2016 erupted following the breakdown of the peace talks between the government and the PKK, with the militant group attempting to take the fighting to urban areas.

Curfews were imposed on areas where fighting took place. Causing significant damage to residences, places of business and infrastructure, the clashes rendered certain towns uninhabitable.

Security forces were criticized for disregarding civilian life. In one incident, residents who took shelter in the basement of a building were killed by gunshots and their bodies burned.

In late 2022 the Constitutional Court unanimously concluded that the government did not violate the rights of people affected by the curfew.

The PKK is an insurgent group designated as a terrorist organization by Turkey and much of the international community. Waging war against the Turkish state since the 1980s, the group claims to represent the Kurdish minority’s struggle for fundamental rights and regional autonomy.

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