HDP MP İrmez: Şırnak is no different from Aleppo

HDP Şırnak MP Aycan İrmez stated that the destruction is at a much larger scale than the official numbers provided by the Şırnak Governorate. İrmez said the city was no different than Aleppo, and called on everybody to come together around Şırnak.

The curfew declared in Şırnak on March 14 has been lifted after 8 months. 7 neighborhoods in the city have been completely destroyed. The Governorate announced 2044 buildings were torn down, but the actual number is reported to be much higher.

HDP Şırnak MP Aycan İrmez spoke to the ANF about her observations in the city after the curfew.

Aycan İrmez stated that the curfew declared on March 14 went on for 8 months, and underlined that there was an attempt to tear down the whole city in the last 4 months of it. İrmez expressed that the state with all its institutions leveled the city right down to the ground, and continued: “As you know, the state policy in Şırnak for 8 months was to depopulate the city and force people to move to other cities. But our people didn’t leave their homes and their lands. The forced migration policy has failed.”


HDP MP stated that on the day the curfew was lifted they were left faced with a barbaric scene and Şırnak resembled the destroyed cities after the world war, and continued: “The scene here yesterday was no different than Aleppo. The state burned the city down with all its technical and military force. The state wanted to erase the memory of the people. We had heard that the destruction was severe, but with this scene we witnessed first hand, we have seen how the state forces poured out their hatred and animosity. The returning people couldn’t even find their homes. Yes, the curfew has been lifted, but there are no streets left. The declaration that the curfew was lifted doesn’t hold ground.”


İrmez said the Şırnak Governorate announcement that 2044 buildings had been torn down didn’t represent the truth and that the number was much higher: “There are no structures left in the neighborhoods except for a couple of houses. The scene we witnessed show us that the destruction is much higher. And the demolitions still continue. We have seen that the demolition will continue until there are no homes left in Şırnak. They lifted the curfew because of the protests against it, otherwise they would continue with the curfew in order to force the people to migrate to other cities.”


İrmez stated that the state wanted to turn Şırnak into a city of security and continued: “A city is being destroyed completely, along with its identity, language and history. They are acting in accordance with the collapsing plan. They chose Şırnak as the pilot city. They first implemented the policies they will carry out in line with the master plan here. We can observe such a practice even today. And as if that wasn’t enough, a trustee was appointed to the Şırnak Municipality. The municipality used to answer all needs for the people. All needs for the families who have stayed in tents for months were met by the municipality. Nobody has seen the Şırnak Governorate help out in any situation. On the contrary, the governorate even removed the tents. They left the people stranded, told them to ‘go wherever they will’.”


HDP MP stated that all announcements by the Şırnak Governorate was aimed to calm the people down and make them move away, and that the same statements had been made for other cities like Sur and Nusaybin before. İrmez said: “We have seen this discourse before, frequently. The demolition still continues. They have a single goal: To depopulate this area, change the demographic and assimilate the people. There is also great destruction in places of work. They are planning on driving the people out by making it impossible for them to work.”


İrmez expressed that the city went through the same destruction and looting in 1992 as well and continued: “Like today, they destroyed the city here with tanks and mortars back in 1992. They tried to depopulate the city and create a city of security. The people protected their homes and lands back then too. Now they are staying in tents again and they say they will return. This is the homeland for the people of Şırnak. And we will accelerate our efforts. We will build a stronger solidarity and tend to our wounds. The AKP and the Palace are trying to start a civil war in this country, and we are experiencing the effects of this in Şırnak.”


HDP deputy said if Şırnak isn’t protected today, the fire will spread, and continued: “The people of Şırnak must be supported. One must come here and see what crimes against humanity have been committed. And they continue to commit these crimes. One day, they will answer for what they did. This people will make them, for sure. Now it is time to urgently heal our wounds. We need to emphasize that we must come together around Şırnak.”