More people in Amed under threat of losing their homes

Sıdıka Alkan is 90 years old. She lives alone in Fiskaya neighbourhood of Amed. Her house is under the risk of demolition by the Turkish authorities as AKP government is pushing “urban progress” plans in the city.

Fiskaya vicinity in Amed’s Yenişehir district is home to families who were forcibly removed from their villages by the Turkish army in 1990s. The government decided to expropriate all buildings in the neighbourhood last year. The residents are now waiting the government to announce the details of the plans on Fiskaya.

90 years old Sıdıka Alkan and her husband settled in Fiskaya after Turkish soldiers burned down their village in Batman during the 90’s. Her husband passed away a few years ago and now she lives alone with the help of her neighbours.

“We had no children. My neighbours became my family after my husband passed away”, tells Sıdıka Alkan.

Concerned about Turkish governments plans of “urban progress” in Fiskaya, she says she would rather be buried in her home than to get evacuated by force.


The AKP government has demolished all buildings in Alipaşa and Lalebey neighbourhoods of Sur district recently and without disclose any details about the construction plans. Bulldozers and other heavy equipment started demolition of the buildings without any notice. Most residents were not able to take their furniture and personal belongings even.

Turkish government declared Fiskaya “under risk of natural disasters” on August 18 and then issued an expropriation decree for the settlement.

If the demolition takes place more than 12 thousand residents will be left without a home. As most of the residents of the neighbourhood have already lost their homes to government terror during 1990s, this will be a second trauma for them.


For Sıdıka Alkan, this neighbourhood is the only place in the world where she can live. “I want to die here. I want to die here and give my last breath in peace. The state should stop torturing us. Enough is enough, they burned our homeland. Tell them to bury me here rather than force me out of home,” she said.

The residents of Fiskaya are concerned as they see the progress of the demolitions in Sur district.

Sur was a scene of intense fighting between Kurdish autonomists and Turkish state forces two years ago. After the declaration of self-governance in Sur, the Turkish army attacked the neighbourhood on 3 December 2015. The fighting lasted for 3 months and left a large part of Sur destroyed.

Even before the fighting ended Turkish state announced plans to rebuild Sur’s old city. Despite the resistance by locals Turkey started the demolition of buildings last year and now the demolition is completed.

Residents of Fiskaya fear that Turkey will push such plans against them as well. The governor or the Ministry of Urban Affairs keep the plans for Amed city secret and all efforts to get information about construction, failed.