Turkish gov't starts efforts to heal wounds caused by PKK terror

ELIF PETEK SAMATYALI
ANKARA
Published 01.06.2016 01:46
Updated 01.06.2016 01:48

After the ending of armed clashes between the PKK terrorist organization and the security forces in Turkey's southeastern district of Yüksekova, residents of the area began to return to their homes with the partial lifting of a curfew in a village located in the Yüksekova district of Hakkari province on Monday. The government also began the reconstruction of the destroyed areas, supplying humanitarian aid to locals.Following a Cabinet meeting on Monday, Deputy Prime Minister and Government Spokesman Numan Kurtulmuş said that 6,320 buildings, equivalent to 11,000 apartments, were demolished during the terror operations in five towns in southeast Turkey and TL 855 million will be allocated to spending on reconstruction in the districts of Sur, Silopi, Cizre, İdil and Yüksekova.

Stating that the Cabinet meeting was held to evaluate the terror incidents in urban and rural areas, the deputy prime minister said that "Within the context of the action plan of peace, unity and democracy, we consider this process to be not only a fight against terror but also reconstruction." Kurtulmuş said that 34 of the 80 articles in the action plan have been fulfilled, emphasizing that the eradication of terrorism is the top priority for the new government, along with the support of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (TBMM). A committee of three people was formed under the presidency of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) spokesperson Yasin Aktay, who will prepare a report of the findings following an examination in the field. As part of the studies, citizens who fled their homes due to terrorist activity in the area will be interviewed and will have their voices heard regarding the construction work and social projects that will be developed as a countermeasure against PKK members who recruit young people in the region.

A team of 100 assigned by the Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning has also been formed to evaluate the cost of damage. According to the ministry's damage assessment report, buildings that require less than TL 10,000 in reconstruction costs will be repaired while those with more than TL 10,000 in damages will undergo preliminary reconstruction work. Halk Bank will offer an interest-free loan to local shopkeepers and social support will be provided to ratable small businesses in the area. Necessary reimbursements will be made for damages incurred by civilians and damaged mosques will be repaired and re-opened. Furthermore, 11 schools which were being used as makeshift headquarters by terrorists will be rebuilt with a budget of TL 50 billion, providing 7,500 students the opportunity for education in the terrorist-ravaged region.

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