War against AKP-ISIS/Daesh: Solidarity initiative for the rebuilding of Cizre, Sur and Silopi (Kurdistan)
We are women from the Women’s Peace Initiative in Turkey. We are concerned about the fate of families who have been displaced as a result of the destruction caused by the Turkish Armed Forces in towns in the Kurdish region in their drive to oust the Kurdish militia. We are asking you for support to rebuild the lives of those displaced by this war.
Over the last three months 21 neighbourhoods in 7 towns of the Kurdish region in the Southeast of Turkey have been under curfew and have sustained devastation that can only be compared to that of Dresden during WWII or, more recently, Kobanê in Northern Syria.
Human rights organizations and political parties active in the region maintain that 274 people have been killed in Cizre since July 2015. 167 of these were bombed, burned and dismembered in basements they had taken refuge in. In Silopi, a border town between Iraq and Turkey, 42 people have lost their lives since July 2015. More than 30 people lost their lives in the Sur district of Diyarbakır – only in this latest curfew that has been in place over more than 95 days. Among those killed are six-month-old babies and 71-year-old men and women – this has been documented numerous times, dispelling allegations that all are combatants.
Currently, it seems that the state is ready to regard anyone who remains in these neighbourhoods as enemies who may be subjected to all kinds of violence without question. Furthermore, it is also a fact that torturing, burning and dismembering people, refusing to allow their bodies to be buried are illegal practices for a state to engage in – regardless of whether these people are combatants or not.
The curfews are now being lifted in these districts (and are being put in place in other towns). People have been returning to their homes only to find them in complete ruin. And yet they want to resume their lives in the towns and in the streets they grew up in. In fact these towns and streets were the locus of a first wave of refuge during the 1990s when the war – which was then largely waged in rural areas– displaced more than 1.5 million villagers.
We, as the Women’s Initiative for Peace, knowing that peace can only begin when lives are restored, have launched a campaign to support people to rebuild their towns. We do not want to remain idle as more IDP’s roam the streets of the large cities of this country. We want to make sure that everyone has the right to live in their own homes, if they so wish.
We call our campaign “Life, Again, and in Place: Solidarity with Cizre, Sur, Silopi”.
We cannot rebuild a whole town. We cannot embark on long-term projects. We are not that big. But we can start by making sure that every family has at least one room they can build a life from. We know that constructing lives has been the lot of women. We now think this will acquire new meaning, as starting again will also bring new hope.
You can make difference. We are asking you to contribute to our dream of working with the women of Cizre, Silopi, Sur to provide them with a room for a life.
WOMEN’S INITIATIVE FOR PEACE
This entry was posted on Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016 at 1:48 am and is filed under Autonomy.