A girl clutches on to a baby amid the rubble in Cizre (Photo: AFP)

02/03/2016 - 23:00
People of Cizre: Turkish State Cannot Take Away Our Kurdish Identity

3 March 2016

ANF - Şırnak

The residents of Şırnak's Cizre district who migrated from the area during the 78 day 24-hour martial lockdown and 59 day siege by Turkish state forces continue returning to their homes.

After waiting for hours at checkpoints, returning residents rushed to their homes, with many finding nothing but rubble. In the Cudi neighborhood where intense clashes occurred between Special Forces Teams and Civilian Protection Units (YPS) militia, there was not even debris remaining.

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Ömer Aslan, a resident of the Cudi neighbourhood who left his home on the 35th day of the seige due to heavy artillery fire by state forces expressed his shock and anger at the level of destruction. Aslan stated, "The majority of the houses and even the furniture inside has been destroyed, we do not even know how to respond to state forces’ brutality. Our children are crying whenever they see their destroyed homes."

Another resident Edibe Kurum said that she and her family had left their home on the 37th day of the attacks and were currently living in their neighbour's garden because their house had been completely destroyed. Kurum expressed her anger at the state for its brutality saying, "But what hurt us most is the massacre of hundreds of people in basements."

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"We have had little luck in our search for a house to rent, but we will stay in Cizre and stand up for our identity and demands for freedom. State forces can destroy our houses and kill civilians, but they cannot take away our Kurdish identity," she stated.

Sezer Yalun said he and his family had evacuated their houses due to heavy artillery fire on the 45th day of the seige and had found nothing but rubble on their return to Cizre. Yalun objected to the state's attacks and said all their belongings including cars had been destroyed.

Some residents could not even find the debris of their houses. Adnan Narin, another resident said he had struggled to find any trace of his house and emphasised, "The only thing one can find here is the terror of the state."

At least 100,000 people are thought to have been displaced in Cizre during the seige and martial lock-down.

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