Kurds believe their harsh treatment by the Turkish state, especially since Julys failed coup, is being ignored by the outside world
Ahmet stood on a roof in different districts of Sur in Diyarbakr and watched as two bulldozers bulldozed his family home. Dust clouds rose into the sky as another wall collapsed. This is the second day that I watch them demolish my house, the 33 -year-old said softly.
The first time, Ahmet was nine years old. In the 1990 s, when the conflict between the Turkish state and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers party( PKK) was at a peak, soldiers burned down his village. Together with thousands of people displaced from the region, his family endeavoured to Sur. We had to leave everything behind. I did not even have shoes when we arrived in Diyarbakr, he remembered.
He looked down at his feet. This time I was at least able to save them.
Violence in Turkeys predominantly Kurdish south-east has surged after a ceasefire between the countrys ruling Justice and Development party( AKP) and the PKK fell apart last July, leaving the three-year peace process in tatters and reviving a conflict that has expensed more than 40,000 lives since 1984.
In the summer of last year, Kurdish activists announced local administrative autonomy for several Kurdish cities and districts, including Sur. Ankara, fazed by the possibility of Kurdish self-rule along the lines of that which exists on Turkeys perimeters with Syria and Iraq, responded with a ferocious crackdown. Blanket curfews were imposed for months.
In Sur alone more than 100 people were killed as Turkish security forces use tanks and heavy artillery against Kurdish militants who excavate furrows and put up booby trap. The violent clashes across the region have laid trash to entire neighbourhoods, displacing more than half a million people in a country that already hosts 2.7 million Syrian refugees.
After the failed coup in July, existing conflicts is deepening. On Monday, the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoan, widened the countrys nation of emergency, imposed after the coup try, into next year. Administrators were appointed to dozens of Kurdish-run municipalities, with Ankara accusing the elected mayors of supporting the PKK.
Displaced once more, Ahmet and his family rented a small apartment in another Diyarbakr district after the police ordered them to leave their home in Sur in November, just before the curfew. He now makes about 500 Turkish lira( 130) a month selling liquorice syrup, a local delicacy. He has no plan for the coming winter.
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