Published by Kurdishinfo on 3/1/2017


A whole history has been destroyed by the state forces in the intense clashes in Amed’s Sur district that started on November 28, 2015 and lasted 104 days. Demolition still continues in several parts of the district, where the curfew also continues in 6 neighborhoods. Homes have been demolished and 40.000 people have become homeless.

There isn’t even rubble left behind from the historic churches, mosques, baths, inns and 300 year old houses. AKP’s Prime ministers, ministers and MPs all told the protesting people that Sur would be a point of attraction again, the homes would be rebuilt – they frequently used Toledo as an example. With the newly surfaced zoning plan, all these have been proven to be lies.

In the “New Sur” project, set off on December 28, 60% of the property was expropriated by force and the rights holders had zero say in it. It will be run by BHA Planning, a pro-government company based in Ankara, and it will mean an absolute destruction for Sur. The technical drawings prepared for the project expose the government’s true purpose.

In the plan, wide roads that have no relevance to the historic texture of Sur span the district like a web. It’s not hidden that these roads are widened “for security”. The same roads are to facilitate transport between the 6 outposts to be built in the district. There are 2 outposts to be built in Hasırlı, and one each in Cevatpaşa, İskenderpaşa, Melikahmet and Alipaşa neighborhoods, and their plans are also ready. The zoning plan doesn’t include information on the fate of the demolished historic buildings.


TMMOB Chamber of City Planners Diyarbakır Branch Co-chair Büşra Cizrelioğulları Sadak assessed the project for ANF and stated that the government claimed they had projects focused on protecting Suriçi area, but they were disproving their own claims today. Sadak said the zoning plan that includes 6 outposts inside Suriçi was released on December 28. She added: “These plans for the outposts have been included in the conservation master plan. Wide roads connecting the outposts have been planned. These are not suitable for the current texture of Sur and the road are widened without regard to registered buildings.”


Sadak underlined that the proposed roads were to connect outposts to each other and said the aim was to create a “security” centered city in Suriçi. Sadak said the outposts were designed to take Suriçi under total control and added: “Two outposts have been built in Hasırlı area up to now. With this project, outposts are planned in Cevatpaşa, İskerpaşa, Melikahmet and Alipaşa neighborhoods as well. The construction of these outposts aim for absolute control of the Sur area.”

Sadak stated that they have detected 1,300 demolished buildings in the Hasırlı area from satellite images and continued: “The destruction in this area continues. We will continue our detection efforts for that. We have ongoing efforts on how many buildings are going to go, how many of them are registered and how many families will be affected by the plans for the outposts and roads.”


Sadak said the project was announced on December 28 and continued: “Normally, the time for the plans to be on display is 30 days. They took it down to 15 days with the State of Emergency decrees. That limits our efforts. The reclamation period is also very short. We need to speak to property owners and residents in Sur in this short time. Most are not aware. The state wants to pass this along quietly, they don’t want it getting out.”


Sadak said the government didn’t carry out the Sur project in a transparent manner and added: “The property owners should be informed of the project. The consent of NGOs in the city should be sought. Most importantly, the people should be asked what they want. The families in Sur don’t want to live under outposts.”


Sadak underlined that the project the government has based on “security” will intimidate people and drive them out of the area and said: “People want to return to their old neighborhoods where they had their daily life and their neighborly relationships. Excluding families and shaping their living spaces independently from the people, when they can’t even reach the rubble of their homes, is to aim for removing them from the district.


Sadak stated that they will utilize every legal way as the Chamber of City Planners, but they have a very limited time and said: “When you appeal in the 15 day period, the appeal is assessed within 5 days. After that, the outcome is finalized. Looking at the government’s approach, this project will be finalized in 20 days time. But we will file our appeals. In this case we will go to court. We used to appeal before as well. In this latest period, we no longer get replies to our appeals. Our time is running out, so with this appeal we will take the plan directly to court. In this case, it’s very important that the NGOs and the residents also appeal. The appeals will give us strength and it will be an effort to stop this.”


Sadak pointed out that how BHA Planning prepared this project should also be questioned and said: “We are talking about the planning of a city demolished in war. The state wants to plan cities with a concern for security now. The planning fully ignores the residents, their previous living conditions and their cultural structure. The planning made with security concerns in mind is against the core of it. The project text says, “Taking terrorist activities under control and maintaining control is important. Due to this societal need, security service areas and complexes are to be planned in strategic points in Suriçi with contemporary technical equipment.” This exposes their intention. The project is targeting the cultural structure.”


Source: Firat News Agency