6,694 buildings in Silopi 'damaged'

6,694 buildings in Silopi 'damaged'

ŞIRNAK – Doğan News Agency
6,694 buildings in Silopi damaged

A man walks along a road damaged in the fighting between Turkish security forces and outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militants, in the Silopi district of southeastern Şırnak province on January 19, 2016. AFP Photo

Some 6,694 buildings in Turkey’s southeastern town of Silopi has been declared “damaged” after assessment conducted by the country’s urbanization ministry following the end of military operations against militants from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the town.

Some 342 buildings and workplaces along with two mosques were seriously damaged, according to the assessment conducted by the Environment and Urbanization Ministry with 23 teams consisting of 72 damage assessment experts each, in Silopi, a district in the southeastern Şırnak province that saw a blanket curfew between Dec. 14, 2015 and Jan. 19. 

Local governors impose curfews in the southeastern towns needed to be cleared of terrorists to prevent civilian casualties during military raids on homes and shelters used by PKK militants.

Upon the damage assessment in the clash-hit town that had lasted for 10 days, eight neighborhoods of Silopi were declared “at risk” and 17 public buildings were declared slightly damaged; however, 27 buildings were stated to have been completely destroyed.

“The decision to list the Barbaros, Başak, Cudi, Karşıyaka, Şehit Harun Boy, Nuh, Yenişehir and Yeşiltepe neighborhoods of the Silopi district in the Şırnak province as ‘areas at risk’ was made by the Council of Ministers on Feb. 16 upon the letter numbered 1526 by the Environment and Urbanization Ministry within the Law on Transformation of Areas Under Disaster Risks,” stated a decision made by Turkey’s cabinet that was published on the Official Gazette on March 6 upon approval of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

The move came days after Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu announced a great re-construction effort set to start soon during his visit to Silopi, underlining that the Turkish administration was following up each development in the region in detail and that the ministries in charge were working hard on what he called “the repair process.”  

“There have been days of sorrow. We are currently doing comprehensive work to compensate this pain,” said the Turkish premier on March 4 during his visit to the town with the company of Interior Minister Efkan Ala, National Education Minister Nabi Avcı, Health Minister Mehmet Müezzinoğlu, Family and Social Policies Minister Sema Ramazanoğlu, Environment and Urbanization Minister Fatma Güldemet Sarı.