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People displaced by Nusaybin counter-terrorism operations have not been rehoused as promised says Pro-Kurdish MP

A deputy from the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) claimed in a parliamentary question that Turkey’s Housing Development Administration (TOKI) has not delivered apartments it promised the people of Nusaybin, the Gazete Duvar news website reported on Wednesday.

A number of people living in southeastern Mardin’s Nusaybin district were displaced due to ongoing counter-terrorism operations in the territory in 2015 and 2016.

A number of people living in southeastern Mardin’s Nusaybin district were displaced due to ongoing counter-terrorism operations in the territory in 2015 and 2016.

HDP MP Tuma Celik alleged in motion on Wednesday that TOKI, which promised to give those displaced people apartments in return for their title deeds to the land, have not kept their word in the last six months.

Celik stated that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government also stopped paying housing benefit to the people in January because their new houses were ready to be used.

“The ministry [of environment and urbanization] has not delivered the houses, which it claimed to have built for the displaced people [in Nusaybin], although they are ready to be used for the last six months. The ministry also stopped paying the housing benefit six months ago,” the MP explained.

“Although it has been four years since the armed conflicts [between Turkish security forces and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)] are over, the people of the region are not relieved from their suffering yet,” Celik said.

Regarded as a terrorist organization by Ankara, the PKK is an armed group which has been fighting for self-rule in the predominantly Kurdish region southeast of Turkey since 1984.

Celik also said the newly-built TOKI houses have many features that are problematic for the people of Nusaybin.

He argued that service charges of the buildings, which is between 100 and 200 liras, are too much to pay for people of the district who pay an average of 500 liras for monthly rent.

“Some [TOKI] houses, were no one lives yet, include some dangerous elements. One of them is that some of the tiles on the buildings’ facade are falling down, posing a great danger that might bear grave consequences,” Celik also warned.

The HDP deputy also asked Murat Kurum, the minister of environment and urbanization, a number of questions regarding the houses that were damaged in conflicts and the deals made with families living in those apartments.

“How many apartments were built by TOKI?” and “How many families in Nusaybin [who were displaced due to conflicts] received a new house?” were among the questions asked by Celik.

He also questioned whether the ministry would compensate for the damage to the houses that have not been delivered to their owners yet and whether it would take precautions to prevent further damages.

According to the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TIHV), 65 indefinite and round-the-clock curfews were imposed in at least 22 districts of seven provinces that include Diyarbakir, Sirnak, and Mardin in nearly eight months.

Fundamental rights of some one million and 642 thousand people living in those districts were violated due to the curfews that took place between August 16, 2015, and April 20, 2016.

Data received from a statement by Turkey’s Ministry of Health on February 27, 2016, shows that at least 355 thousand people are living in the area were displaced by the government.

The displacement included Girnavas, Ipekyolu, Baris, Devrim, 8 Mart, Selahattin Eyyubi, Yeni Turan, Yesilkent and Mor Yakup neighborhoods of Nusaybin.

A total of 25 civilians, including two children and seven women, lost their lives during the curfews that were carried out in Nusaybin between October of 2015 and August of 2016.

Former Turkish policeman tells of killings and human rights abuses by the country’s forces in Kurdish-majority cities

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