70% of Şırnak has been demolished

HDP MP Leyla Birlik stated that 70% of Şırnak has been demolished and the people have been told to “go wherever they wish”. Birlik said the neighborhoods outside of the clash zones were also included in the demolition plans, opened up for profiteering.

HDP Şırnak MP Birlik called the events in Şırnak and other cities of Kurdistan one of the great atrocities of the 21st century, and spoke to the ANF about the general situation in Şırnak and Cizre.


Birlik said the people of Cizre, with the women, children and the youth, displayed a glorious resistance under the state blockade and braved death to not leave their homes and where they live in the face of oppression and tyranny. She stressed that the people trying to rebuild their lives together after the blockade were then faced with the tyranny of profiteering. Birlik said the memory of the people massacred in the basements is still fresh in the neighborhoods that are now open for profiteering and that new buildings are going up on the sites where the massacres took place. Birlik added: “The area with the torn down basements between the Cudi and Sur neighborhoods have been awarded to profiteers before the pain of the murdered has been dulled or the crimes paid for.”


Birlik said the same goes for Şırnak city center and that 70% of the city center has been demolished. Birlik stated that the city has been completely destroyed and nothing about life has been left standing, the city of Şırnak has been turned into a construction site with diggers and cranes, and if that wasn’t enough, the neighborhoods outside of the clash zone have been included in the demolition area. Birlik added: “460 more houses have been included in the demolition order. The families have been sent notices of evacuation two months ago, but the neighborhood residents have no place to go now.” Birlik pointed to the fact that almost all the demolished houses were the property of the residents and there were few renters, and continued: “The families were not paid any kind of compensation whatsoever, and were sent notices that stated they had to evacuate within 3 days, otherwise their homes would be demolished with their belongings inside. When people asked the official state institutions where they were to go, they were dismissed and told to ‘go wherever’.”


Birlik stressed that the state is taking revenge against the people who lived in tents for months to not leave their city and said: “If destroying the people’s life and culture wasn’t enough, they are not letting the people rebuild their lives. They started putting up 10-storey TOKİ buildings without the people’s consent.” Birlik also stated that all the appeals the people made to the courts against this illegal demolition were rejected.


HDP MP underlined that the Kurdish people see this tyranny as an attack on their identity: “The people of Şırnak are aware that this tyranny and destruction has happened because they are Kurdish, and they express this openly. Telling people that you give them rental aid and they can go wherever is kicking them out of their own lands. How is a family with 7 children to make ends meet in Istanbul with the rental aid provided? Is rent even the issue here? The issue is the people’s lives, business, past, history, children, the issue is everything. As the HDP MPs we launched countless initiatives to stop the demolitions, but all our attempts fell through.”


Birlik stressed that the reason the AKP government pushes so hard on Şırnak is that the people of Şırnak will not obey them under any conditions, and added that the AKP is disturbed by the resilience of Şırnak, where HDP got 97% of the vote in the June 7 elections. Birlik has also suffered from the state blockade in Şırnak personally. She said: “Like thousands of people, my husband’s family also lost their home. Their house was demolished, our house was raided and the doors broken down. If they can tear down the doors at a MP’s home, imagine what they did to citizens.”

HDP Şırnak MP stated that they launched the Conscience and Justice watch to build a new life against fascism and added: “There won’t be democracy, fundamental human rights and freedoms, citizenship, peace or fraternity where justice and conscience are lost. So, we need to build conscience and justice and protect these values.”