CHP demands aid be sent immediately to clash-hit Cizre

CHP demands aid be sent immediately to clash-hit Cizre

İdris Emen – CİZRE
CHP demands aid be sent immediately to clash-hit Cizre

DHA Photo

Turkey’s main opposition party has urged for food and accommodation to be given for those whose homes were destroyed in clashes between Turkish security forces and militants from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in the country’s southeastern town of Cizre.

“The majority of those who fled Cizre have returned. However, these people no longer have homes. There is an urgent need to send containers [homes] on hand to Cizre. No one should be homeless,” said Sezgin Tanrıkulu, a deputy from Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), speaking after a visit to Cizre, a district in the southeastern Şırnak province, with a committee of several CHP lawmakers.

“Food aid should be provided for those in need, whose homes have been burnt. This aid should be provided today,” Tanrıkulu said, demanding that Turkish authorities to provide accommodation for those with severely damaged homes that were burnt and looted months after a blanket curfew was declared in the southeastern town.

The round-the-clock curfew in Cizre was in place for more than two months to conduct military raids on homes and shelters used by militants. The curfew, which came into effect on Dec. 14, 2015, is now limited to half-days (meaning between the hours of 7 p.m. and 5 a.m) starting from March 2, the Şırnak Governor’s Office has said.

In order to conduct large-scale observations in Cizre for a report to be made public soon, the main opposition party dispatched a group of its lawmakers to the clash-hit town, while calling for the formation of a commission consisting of lawmakers from all political parties holding representative power in the Turkish parliament.

“We as the CHP demand the formation of a commission that would include the HDP, MHP and the AKP. The PKK should drop arms, immediately. We want what is at issue to be solved by negotiating,” Şeker said.
CHP deputy Ali Şeker added that the party had made calls for parliamentary efforts to rescue those who were trapped as wounded during clashes between the Turkish soldiers and PKK militants, but their calls fell upon dear ears.

“People in here are in trouble. They have perished. A person who has experienced natural disasters like earthquakes and avalanches said, ‘I’ve seen both avalanches and earthquakes in the past. This is not disaster but a catastrophe. No one has the right to subject us to this catastrophe,’... People lay down on the ruins. Their homes were demolished. There’s no home for rent. Even though there are no safe buildings in Cizre, people keep coming from Şırnak [another town close by also engaged in clashes],” he said, adding that he and other deputies from the committee saw severed fingers and bones inside the basement apartments that were burnt during in clashes.

The curfew in Cizre has long been a point of contention for lawmakers. A row between the government and HDP lawmakers occurred early February after the latter accused the Turkish administration of failing to provide health services for civilians trapped inside three basement apartments, one in Cizre’s Nur neighborhood and two others in the Cudi neighborhood.  

“There’s no data on the number of deaths in Cizre... How many civilians have been among the dead? There’s no data on this. We’ve been told that 240 people lost their lives. It’s certain that 20 civilians were among these deaths,” Tanrıkulu said.

“Those who erected barricades and dug trenches should remove them all,” he added, referring to PKK militants, who often erect such structures around areas where they declare self-autonomy.