As the holy month of Ramadan starts, the Turkish government has increased its oppression over Kurdish residents in Sur district’s Alipaşa and Lalebey neighborhoods of Diyarbakır province by cutting electricity an water of the houses.
As the government is determined to demolish the neighborhoods, pro-Kurdish news sources have reported that the residents of the neighborhoods are also determined to not leave their houses. After the blockage of the security forces the residents have been trying to get water they need from other neighborhoods for the last 5 days.
The Justice and Development Party (AKP) government, which is under the strict rule of Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, had ordered the security forces to bombard and destroy the neighborhoods as they clashed with the militants of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) last year. Following the clashes, the AKP government had decided to confiscate the properties for sake of ‘urgent expropriation’ in Sur district.
Following the expropriations the government has started to demolish Sur’s Alipaşa and Lalebey neighborhoods. However, the residents of the neighborhoods did not leave their houses and decided to protect their living spaces. So the government has started to cut water and electricity of the neighborhoods 5 days ago and has been continuing to apply the policy in the historical Sur district despite fasting month of holy Ramadan has started on Saturday.
Most of the families who live in these two neighborhoods are reportedly the victims of the forced displacements experienced in 1990s in the Southeastern Anatolia. Thousands of people from various Kurdish villages and towns had sought refugee in Diyarbakır and it had doubled the population of the city in a few years in 1990s.
Following the demolition in several neighborhoods in the east part of Sur district, some of the residents had sought refuge in the western neighborhoods of İskenderpaşa, Lalebey, Alipaşa, Melikahmet, Ziya Gökalp and Cami Kebir, where they believed to be safe. However, Alipaşa and Lalebey neighborhoods were given under the mandate of housing authority’s mercy under the pretext of “slum development.” It is reported that TOKİ has, eventually, started to demolish the residential areas of Sur’s two neighborhoods.
May 28, 2017