This much “love” is too much for Sur!

The streets that once rang with children’s laughter are now vast empty spaces in Sur. Broken doors, streets filled with garbage and and demolished houses carry the weight of a great war.

Demolition continues without a hitch in Sur, which was destroyed by the state forces with tanks and artillery fire during the 104 day long curfew declared on November 28, 2015 by the AKP. Sur was in UNESCO’s World Cultural Heritage List, but was sacrificed to the AKP government’s love of profit nonetheless. As plot after plot is awarded to groups close to the government, the historical texture demolished by excavators is carried with trucks to the Dicle Valley. On top of that, protests from the people and the NGOs are ignored and the handful of historic buildings still left standing are trapped among police outposts in a project launched on December 28.

The then-Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu had said, “The registered Diyarbakır homes, mosques, churches and inns will be restored with no harm done to the architectural texture in Diyarbakır. We will rebuild Sur so well that it will become a place everybody wants to see for its architectural texture, like Toledo (in Spain” about Sur, which remains torn to the ground today. The historic buildings allowed a mere existence among the debris are waiting for their turn to be “restored”, while suffering damage from construction equipment as they tear down the neighboring buildings. On the other hand, many historic buildings damaged by artillery and mortars have been torn down because restoration will be too expensive. Streets are flooded as the water pipes in the demolished buildings burst. As if the pillaging policies weren’t enough, the state forces feel the need to take it out on the walls of historic buildings.

The following photographs are the latest displays of love, as in the government’s claim to be “building Sur up with love”.