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The Status of Internally Displaced Kurds in Turkey

Éditeur : KHRP Date & Lieu : 2006, London
Préface : Pages : 64
Traduction : ISBN : 978-1-905592-05-0
Langue : AnglaisFormat : 148x210 mm
Thème : Politique

Table des Matières Introduction Identité PDF
The Status of Internally Displaced Kurds in Turkey

Executive Summary

In an ostensible effort to combat the Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK) insurgency during the 1980s and 1990s, state security forces forcibly displaced thousands of rural communities in the Kurdish regions of Turkey. Some 3,500 towns and villages were destroyed during this time. Illegal detention, torture and extra-judicial execution by both state forces and village guards also took place. Today, the majority of these villages remains demolished and there are no plans for their reconstruction. Between 3 and 4 million villagers were forced from their homes and are still not allowed to return. Most internally displaced people (IDPs) are unable to return to their homelands because of obstruction by village guards, landmines and poor socio-economic conditions.

The return of persons displaced during the armed conflict in east and south-east Turkey to their homes is one of the most pressing issues that Turkey will encounter. The European Commission’s 2004 and 2005 Progress Reports on Turkey’s accession to the EU both described the situation of IDPs as ‘critical’. The steps taken by the Government to address the problem are so far limited to the Return to Villages and Rehabilitation Project, which intends to secure the economic infrastructure for return, and the Law on Compensation for Damage Arising from Terror (Law 5233). It is generally felt that these measures are not sufficient to solve the problem, since the village guard system, the landmines, the region’s economic underdevelopment and the danger of renewed armed conflict all continue to present significant obstacles to return which fail to be addressed by the Government. This report summarises the results of a fact-finding mission to Van, south-east Turkey, and Ankara, in July 2006 to investigate the operation and effect of the above two programmes in practice.

Introduction: The Situation of IDPs in South-East Turkey

IDPs who live in the cities suffer from unemployment, lack of housing, little access to education and health services, and issues of social adaptation. Those who lived in the villages are not accustomed to urban living and they find it hard to adapt without any social or economic assistance. They are used to farming the land and surviving from livestock. Since the 1990s, the major cities in the south east have been inundated with villagers from the regions, with a consequential effect on the city’s original inhabitants.

Van currently has 380,000 citizens of Turkish nationality, of which 200,000 are IDPs. In Bostaniçi district, official figures show that 14,000 people – 90 per cent of the inhabitants - are IDPs. In fact it is believed that the figure is actually closer to 18,000. The mission interviewed a number of families living in Bostaniçi, whose testimony can be found at Annex 3.

Mesut Değer, an MP for Cumchuriyet Halk Partisi (Republican People’s Party, CHP) and a member of the Human Rights Commission, informed the mission that, prior to forced evacuations, the population of Diyarbakır was 350,000. Today, it is more than 1.5 million. Unemployment figures have risen as a result. For example, in Diyarbakır, the official unemployment figure is 20 per cent; however the actual figure is in fact 60 per cent. The lower official figure reflects the fact that IDPs do not register with the relevant municipal authorities. As a result of the increased unemployment, there is a parallel increase in robberies and prostitution, whilst the number of suicides of young women has increased due to early marriages and feelings of depression caused by unemployment.

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