Şemdinli mayor Töre speaks to ANF – SPECIAL
08 August 2012Töre: “Clashes have been getting heavier in an area of 20 km from Goman Mountain”
As heavy clashes between People’s Defense Forces (HPG) and Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) continue in Şemdinli (province of Hakkari) since 23 July, ANF spoke to BDP (Peace and Democracy Party) Şemdinli’s mayor, Sedat Töre.
“Clashes – said the mayor – have been getting heavier in an area of 20 km from Goman Mountain, 1 km from Şemdinli district center, to Hacıbey Brook on the Turkey-Iraq border”.
The clashes area is affecting the village of Bağlar and its six hamlets as well as the village of Günyazı and its three neighborhoods. Around a thousand people reside in 130 houses in this area, the mayor points out.
The first citizen underlines that clashes got heavier and heavier since 24 July. “The Turkish media – says the mayor – has avoided to write about the clashes till the eight day when they reported the situation in the region drawing information from alternative and independent media which have been following events from the beginning”.
On 30 July and 1 August Hakkari Governor’s Office issued two statements in which the scale and gravity of clashes and the situation of civilians in the region were not reported correctly. “It was only reported – recalls the mayor – that two security officers died and ten others were wounded in the clashes”.
However the clashes are heavily affecting civilians: “60 families in four separate hamlets – says the mayor – were forced to leave their houses on August 1. Thirty one of these families had to move to relatives’ houses, while others had to move to other villages far from the clashes area. The four hamlets, Yiğitler, Çem, Zorgeçit and Güzelkaya, have been completely evacuated because of the lack of security for people and property and because of the ongoing aerial bombing in the region”. Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) district organization and Şemdinli Municipality have recently set up a support desk and provide these people with necessary food and medicine as well as other urgent needs.
“There has been a continuous power cut in the clashes area which has been closed to traffic since 26 July. Several delegations, – says the mayor – included BDP deputies Esan Canan and Özdal Üçer, were not allowed to enter the clashes area despite all the attempts they have made”.
Fırat News Agency reported that five HPG guerrillas have lost their life in clashes however these deaths nor any delivery of bodies to any hospital or forensic medicine institute have been confirmed so far by any official statement. The bodies of five HPG members are therefore thought to be still in the clashes area.
“There are – says Sedat Töre – other serious consequences. Clashes are causing heavy problems to the natural life of the region as many forests have suffered from fires caused by random and intense bombing by the Turkish army”.
The mayor expresses his worries about the “ways and extent of bombing by the military. We cannot exclude the use of prohibited weapons, for example – he adds – we have no way to check as all motorways in the region have been closed to traffic, the details of clashes are hidden from the public opinion and security forces have been trying to evacuate the people from the region. The people who are still living in the area are mostly concerned over the possibility of use of prohibited weapons”.
In the light of all this BDP mayor Sedat Töre underlines the “need for both local and foreign public opinion to call on the relevant institutions to end the ongoing military operation”.
ANF NEWS AGENCY