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Hundreds of families who suffered from a 12-day curfew in three of Silvanand’s neighborhoods that were dominated by intense clashes now feel caught between the idea of leaving the district or staying despite their ruined homes.
To provide their children with the opportunity to attend school and a sense of security, far from the sounds of bullets and tear gas, some families have already made the decision to leave the district in search of a better life.
While some families loaded their belongings onto small, hired pick-up trucks to move to Diyarbakir or elsewhere, others opted to stay in Silvan and to repair their wrecked homes. Those whoand’ve stayed have already started to repair their homes, despite limited financial means. Due to record high unemployment in Silvan, many families do not have a steady income.
Sadiye Katar, whose home was nearly demolished in the clashes, told Todayand’s Zaman that her house, with every door broken down and damaged belongings, is no longer suitable to live in.
Another resident, Ayie Toy, also expressed disappointment with the scene she faced, saying: and”All the walls are full of bullet marks. My houseand’s windows and doors were totally shattered. Our hens and other animals were killed. Where will we go now? They [the security forces] demolished a thousand houses for a trench. Our children are hungry and there is no home left to stay in.and”
Prior to the conflict, members of the Patriotic Revolutionist Youth Movement (YDG-H) — an affiliate of terrorist organization the Kurdistan Workersand’ Party (PKK) — dug trenches attempting to block the security forces from entering the neighborhoods.
Sevim Fidan complained of the duration of curfew, saying, and”I donand’t think anyone [in the country] has faced a disaster similar to that which we have experienced. The battle has left our children depressed.and”
As winter approaches, locals arenand’t just worried about preparing their homes in time for the cold, but avoiding the remaining military equipment, like unexploded bombs and shells.
Here, it wasnand’t just the people who suffered from the devastating consequences from the clashes many sheep, cows and chickens also died without access to food and water, while some others were target of gunshots and blasts. A girl who managed to take along her hen when she escaped, returned to the devastated area with her hen in a carrier bag and a smile on her face, exuding pride of saving her hen.
The Mescit, Konak and Tekel neighborhoods of Silvan were home to days-long conflicts between the Turkish security forces and YDG-H. a 12-day curfew in the area was finally lifted on Saturday at 2:00 p.m.
h2Trauma affecting residents of all agesh2 Ayten GandOandcer, 48, who was also forced to leave her home, spoke to Todayand’s Zaman, saying she lost her nerves to the sound of bullets firing. and”Whenever the members of the family heard a blast or gunfire, we would lay on the ground to protect ourselves,and” she said. GandOandcer, who was whispering, said she didnand’t want to speak more as she feared for her life.
Cemil Ekici of the Tekel neighborhood described the fear how his family felt over the days-long tank fire and gunshots. and”On the sixth day of the curfew, we fled our home and moved to the Feridon neighborhood next to one of my relatives. Now, we are living with at least nine people in the same house. My daughter, Helin, is suffering from epilepsy and we failed to take even her medicines while fleeing. Our neighborhood is almost empty now,and” Ekici expressed sadly.
He continued: and”The employment possibilities are limited here in Silvan so I work in multiple locations, both at home and abroad. I try to provide for Helin and really want her to go to school for a better future.and”
Helin shared her fatherand’s wishes for an end of tense atmosphere in Silvan: and”I havenand’t been able to go to school since the start of the year. I used to get high grades in lessons and in general and I want to be a teacher. Like many other children in Turkey, I want to go to school on a regular basis and play games with my friends in front of my home.and”
Many families will be forced to stay with their relatives as it is apparent that their homes will not be fit for living anytime soon.
h2Diyarbakirand’s Sur district on tenterhooksh2 Sur, another Diyarbakir district that faced a days-long curfew, finds itself on tenterhooks.
After a short trip through the narrow streets of the historic district, several teenagers between the ages 14 and 18 were standing at a corner waiting for the police come for a fight. Covering their faces with scarves to hide their identities, the teens were holding Kalashnikovs and appeared to be ready to open fire on any posing threats.
Nearly all markets, bookstores and cafes closed down upon sunset. This landscape is worsened by a lack of tourists, who previously contributed to a vivid city life in both Sur and Diyarbakir.
Sinan Yilmaz contributed to this report.


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