Diyarbakir, February 24, 2016
I am a member of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey for the province of Diyarbakir and am writing this letter to you from the central district of Sur currently under heavy bombardment of the Turkish armed forces. For the past six months, since August 2015, six indefinite round-the-clock curfews have been declared in Sur in line with Turkey’s ruling AKP Government’s remilitarized strategy of subdoing the Kurdish People’s political demands and agency. The yet final one of these round-the-clock curfews, which has been in effect since December 11, 2015, has claimed the lives of over a hundred civilian people, the shelling of whole neighborhoods, the destruction of built heritage sites and the forced displacement of tens thousands of Sur residents.
I am appealing to you now in the face of a further impending tragedy. As concerted attacks by Turkish armed forces with heavy artilleries continue unabated, we have reports that more than two hundred people have been trapped in the basements of residential buildings where they had moved to take shelter in the first place. We have confirmed information that almost all of these people are civilian residents and at least twenty of them are children. For the past seven days, I, myself, and several other MPs for Diyarbakir, have been contacting all government agencies and officials in the city for the opening of an evacuation corridor for the safe transfer of these people out of the military operation area. Unfortunately, our appeals and requests have remained unanswered!
Today, we have received further phone calls from people who remain trapped under bombs. These people are reporting that their situation is getting worse with more people being hit by bombs and heavy arms every passing hour, and the many injured regressing into a terminal stage. For the past week twelve people have been killed by the security forces and their corpses remain lying on the ground under violent scrutiny of the official security personnel. By all means, a war has been waged against the people of Sur, and although it remains without a name, it has produced intense political and emotional polarization, split and anger on the part of the prosecuted Kurdish people.
We urge you to please take action to urge the Turkish Government to lift the curfew in the Sur district, even if temporarily, in order for enabling the safe transfer of the trapped civilians out of the conflict zone. We firmly believe that your concerned engagement would be effective for the opening of the way for a constructive dialogue and coordination with the Government authorities for the rescue of these survivors, before it is too late. Please find enclosed to this letter the names of some of the children trapped in Sur and an international appeal recently made by Peoples’ Democratic Party, which provides detailed information on the current situation in Sur and the curfew practices.
MP for Diyarbakir
Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP)