Locals in Hakkari enjoy leisure activities in PKK-free areas

DAILY SABAH WITH AA
ANKARA
Published 16.04.2019 00:20

Residents of predominantly Kurdish-populated southeastern provinces of Turkey have been enjoying terror-free lives thanks to counterterrorism operations that completely ejected PKK terrorists from the cities.

In one of these places, southeastern Hakkari's Çukurca district, locals have started to flock to recreational areas for picnics, whereas these areas had seen no activity previously due to security concerns. The recreation areas established by the district governorate near Great Zab is one of the local's favorite place for leisure activities, especially with the coming of spring. Many residents from Hakkari city center and Yüksekova district also visit Avasipi Fountain in Çukurca. Weary of the decades-old terror campaign of the PKK terrorist organization, locals expressed their gratitude for district governors for providing long-neglected services. The locals reflected their reaction to the PKK also in the recent local polls, as the pro-PKK Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) lost the elections in Çukurca and Şemdinli districts after a long time against the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party).

The PKK terrorist organization carried out clashes with security forces in urban areas in 2015, but the strategy collapsed because of successful anti-terror operations and a lack of cooperation from the people in the region.

However, these cities saw significant damage during the operations. Since then, the government has invested huge amounts of money to recover infrastructure and public services in the region. Intensive reconstruction efforts in the southeastern region budgeted in the billions include housing, health and education projects, restoration of historical buildings, mosques and churches and recreation work under the leadership of the Environment and Urbanization Ministry. Founded in 1978 under the pretext of Kurdish self-rule in southeastern Turkey where a predominantly Kurdish population lives, the PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU.

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