Turkey’s policy to destroy Sur and Hasankeyf taken to the UN

The Turkish state’s policy to destroy and demolish Sur and Hasankeyf, designated human heritage, has been taken to the UN agenda.

The Turkish state’s policy of destruction in Sur and Hasankeyf with the goal to destroy the historic and cultural awareness and to change the demographic structure of Kurdistan has been taken to the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council’s agenda.

Founder of No to Destruction in Sur Platform and Keep Hasankeyf Alive Initiative Ercan Ayboğa met with UN representatives to draw attention to the ongoing state attacks in Sur and Hasankeyf and the policies of massacre the Turkish state implements in Kurdistan. Ayboğa held a series of meetings with a 7 person expert group from the UN High Commissary of Human Rights in Genova, Switzerland and UN representatives from Germany and the European Union.

Ayboğa spoke to the ANF about the meetings.


Ayboğa said he first submitted two detailed reports to the UN experts on the matter to draw attention to the level of destruction in Sur and the progress in the Ilısu Dam built to destroy Hasankeyf.

Ayboğa said he relayed the level of destruction in Sur in detail to the UN experts and added that at the current level, 30 to 40% of Sur has been demolished by the state. Ayboğa said the reports included the people being forced to migrate and the ongoing resistance in Ali Paşa and Lalebey neighborhoods inside the city walls since early May, and continued: “I told them in detail that if the current demolition is not prevented, other neighborhoods in Sur could face destruction. I mentioned the destruction in Sur and the incidents in other cities demolished by the Turkish state, the level of destruction there and how the people in demolished cities have been forced to migrate.”

“I also pointed out the destruction in Hasankeyf and the Tigris Valley with the Ilısu Dam,” said Ayboğa and stated that he relayed to the experts in detail how the region designated as human heritage will suffer a great catastrophy with the operation of the dam.”


Ayboğa also said that after the detailed presentation on Sur and Hasankeyf the UN experts asked him important questions and continued: “For example, they asked many important questions like ‘Do you think the demographic structure of the region has been changed through the demolition and the forced migration?’ And we told them that these demolitions definitely should be considered within the scope of the war and that the incidents have been part of the war the Turkish state has been waging against the Kurdish people. I pointed out that the state systematically implements a policy of destruction in Kurdistan and that they combined these policies with economic profiteering.”


Ayboğa said: “Lastly we told the UN experts that they should continue to monitor the events in Kurdistan closely. They said they will continue to monitor the developments in the region closely.”


Ayboğa said they held a meeting with the UN Germany and European Union representatives on the matter as well as the UN experts, and stated that the meeting with these two representatives was positive.

Ercan Ayboğa said: “After the presentations I gave on the demolitions in Northern Kurdistan, especially in Sur and Hasankeyf, both representatives stated that they will be closely monitoring the issue. The questions asked in this meeting were similar to those the UN experts asked. In both meetings, there were questions especially focusing on the changing of the demographic structure.”