Turkish gov’t takes ‘urgent expropriation’ decision for properties in southeast

Turkish gov’t takes ‘urgent expropriation’ decision for properties in southeast

Turkish gov’t takes ‘urgent expropriation’ decision for properties in southeast

AFP photo

The Turkish government has made “an urgent expropriation” decision concerning properties in four southeastern provinces.

The cabinet’s approval of the related Interior Ministry decision went into force after being published in the Official Gazette on April 11. Accordingly, the government has decided to “urgently expropriate” properties in multiple districts of southeastern provinces, including the Bağlar and Kayapınar districts of Diyarbakır province, the Çukurca and Yüksekova districts of Hakkari province, the Kızıltepe district of Mardin province and the Cizre and İdil districts of Şırnak province, in order to build “police security points.”

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan also revealed plans on the future of Yüksekova and Cizre during his speech at the Urban Transformation Congress in Istanbul on April 11, saying both districts should gain “city” status.

“Topographically speaking, Hakkari is not fit to be a province. It is impossible to understand how they declared it a city. Whereas Yüksekova is a beautiful place whose topography is suitable to become a city,” Erdoğan said, reminding the audience of his proposition to replace Hakkari province with Yüksekova. 

“We have a division there, we also built an airport. That area also has very intense smuggling activities. Yüksekova [becoming a city] will be a very good decision to both prevent such [illegal] activities and build a peaceful city,” he said, adding this decision was widely accepted among ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) lawmakers as well. 

The president also touched upon Cizre, “a city by its history,” and said it should be recognized as a city “by right.”

“This was Cizre’s right, it was taken from it. We need to return this right and make Cizre a city again.”

Turkey’s southeast has been gripped by violence since July 2015, with security forces battling militants of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and its youth wing, known as the Patriotic Revolutionary Youth Movement (YDG-H), in densely populated urban centers. 

The recent fighting has marked the deadliest period in at least two decades of the conflict, with continued reports of killed and injured security officials and PKK militants. 

Meanwhile, a special operations police officer who was injured in an outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) attack in a southeastern Turkish city has succumbed to his wounds, while four soldiers and a village guard have sustained injuries in anti-terror operations in the country’s east. 

Special operations police officer Serkan Yılmaz, who was injured on April 10 during an operation against the PKK in the southeastern province of Mardin’s Nusaybin district, succumbed to his injuries on April 11, less than a day after he was brought to the Gülhane Medical Academy (GATA) for treatment. 

According to reports, Yılmaz will be laid to rest in his home province of Kahramanmaraş in southern Turkey on April 12.

Meanwhile, four soldiers and a temporary village guard sustained injuries in an anti-terror operation in the eastern province of Bitlis’ Hizan district late on April 10. 

Security officers from the Tatvan 10th Commando Brigade and the district gendarmerie command came across a group of suspected PKK militants on Mensur hill in Hizan’s Nazar region and called on the suspects to surrender. 

Reports indicated the militants responded by opening fire and wounded four soldiers and the head of Hizan’s temporary village guard, Ahmet Çelik. The wounded were promptly transferred to Tatvan State Hospital via helicopter while an airborne operation was launched to apprehend the militants.