Locals in Turkey's Kilis 'worried, scared and insecure,' says CHP report

Locals in Turkey's Kilis 'worried, scared and insecure,' says CHP report

ANKARA – Doğan News Agency
Locals in Turkeys Kilis worried, scared and insecure, says CHP report

AFP photo

A lawmaker from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) said the southeastern Kilis province had turned into a “war zone” and that nobody had “life safety,” after a party delegation paid a visit to the border town and prepared a report on its security situation in the face of recent rocket attacks from Syrian territories.

CHP lawmakers Zeynep Altıok, Gamze Akkuş İlgezdi, Dursun Çiçek, Murat Bakan and Ahmet Akın announced their report at a press meeting held at Turkish parliament on April 28. The report was prepared based on the lawmakers’ observations and interviews with officials, bar association members, artisan chamber representatives, refugees and citizens of Kilis, a city hit frequently by rockets fired by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), particularly in the past months.

“The governor said that announcements were the only measures that can be taken against the rockets and that he cannot be a ‘Superman’ and prevent them...Kilis is going through dangerous days, the government and the public authorities are hiding information. A city of this country is in the middle of terror,” said MP Altıok, quoting Kilis governor Süleyman Tapsız and adding that the delegation observed that the city’s society had reached a breaking point.

Altıok said, “While the governor’s office and official posts are portraying a rosy picture about non-problematic education, housing and unity between the locals and the Syrians, the citizens conversely share that they are worried, scared and insecure.”

“The Kilis governor [Tapsız] said that the issue is a national security issue and that he and his family did not have life safety either. He said he was obliged to implement the government policies being carried out in the region and to perform the duties given to him, as he emphasized that the solution was not in his hands and he would not say no to the open border crossing,” says the report.   

The report adds that although there was no hostility toward the Syrians, and that locals offer hospitality and tolerance to them, due to increasingly bleak conditions, “privileges given to Syrians,” and most importantly concerns about their safety, the people are on the “verge of an outburst.” 

The report suggests that Kilis should be placed under disaster/terror scope and a security zone must be created within Syria to make sure that the rockets are out of firing range, which would require an area of at least 20 kilometers. It was suggested that a special budget should be prepared for Kilis, with its expenses must be reported transparently. The report also suggested that economic incentives be given to the citizens of Kilis.