Longest curfew in the world turns 2

The curfew in 6 neighborhods of the Sur district has continued for two years. In this time, the historic district was torn to the ground, residents were forced to move, and the remaining population was taken under a “security” blockade.

Diyarbakır’s historic Sur district has been gradually destroyed since November 28, 2015. Self rule had been declared in Sur in August 14, 2015 and the police and special operations units had intervened in increasing severity every day and later on the curfews had been declared.


The curfew declared due to clashes on December 2, 2015 in the Cevatpaşa, Fatihpaşa, Dabanoğlu, Hasırlı, Cemal Yılmaz and Savaş neighborhoods has continued for a full two years. This constitutes the longest curfew in the world, and had started with the murder of Diyarbakır Bar Association President Tahir Elçi in front of the Four Pillared Minaret. Since that day, the Sur district had a non-stop conflict period for 103 days with the 6 neighborhoods still under curfew and where demolitions continue.

In 103 days, a total of 71 state personnel, 53 soldiers including 2 captains and 2 lieutenants, 17 police officers and 1 village guard, have been killed during these 103 days in the district with constant clashes and explosions. 523 state personnel were wounded, including at least 392 soldiers, 128 police officers and 3 village guards.


Despite protests, 1.750 houses have been demolished in the Sur district, the common memory of the peoples, according to Amnesty International’s data, and at least 500 more are scheduled for demolition. While a concrete number of citizens who had to move out of Sur due to clashes and demolitions, the estimate is 40.000.

Even though clashes in the district have ended, the demolitions and military rule practices still continue. There are armored vehicles and police checkpoints positioned throughout most parts of Sur, as the whole district turns into an open prison.


Churches, mosques, mansions and bath houses that belong to various faiths and cultures in the historic district were destroyed. The Behram Pasha Bath House, built between 1564-1567, was targeted by heavy weapons while the Haci Hamit Mosque, Süleyman Nazif Elementary School, the Four Pillared Mosque which has a 1500 year past and is the only one of its kind in Turkey, its mosque Şex Mutahar Mosque, the Armenian Catholic Church, the Mehmed Uzun House, the Shehzade Mansion, the Protestant Church, the Mor Pedriom Chaldean Church, the Surp Giragos Armenian Church which is the largest church in the Middle East, have all been damaged in the clashes.