Undoing years of Progress inTurkey – The view of Abdullah Demirbas
Abdullah Demirbas, mayor of Diyarbakir city from 2004 to 2014, deplores the war situation experienced by the town since the resurgence of the Turkish-Kurdish conflict last year.
The Sur district is indeed one of the most impacted both by the curfew running since December 2015 and the armed assaults damaging its cultural heritage. The ancient multicultural city full of peacefully coexisting minorities is now only the shadow of what it used to be.
The municipality used to be recognized for its ability to bring in 2012 an interfaith dialogue group, known as the Council of Forty, thanks to the support of community leaders. It played a crucial role in keeping sectarian violence away from the city.
However, despite calls to end hostilities, President Erdogan will pursue military operations until the besieged Kurdish towns are “cleansed of terrorists”.
Abdullah Demirbas fears that a new angrier generation of young Kurdish growing up with the trauma of killing, destruction and forced migration will strongly reduce the chances of a peaceful settlement through dialogue in years to come.
Considering this dangerous future, he campaigns for dialogue, which was always chosen by Kurds when they had a real and fair choice between a political and democratic solution or violence. Unfortunately, the more a political dialogue on coexistence is delayed, the more young Kurds will turn to the PKK violent answer to the government.
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"Il devient absolument urgent de mettre un terme à cette injustice. Il y a un manque de connaissances et de recherches. Il faut donc promouvoir le recueil de témoignages, mais aussi construire des mémoriaux, organiser des expositions..." - @BenjaminAbtan