Resistance in Sur on 15th day: You cannot demolish, you are illegitimate

Medine Mamedoğlu

DİYARBAKIR- Turkish Engineer and Architects Chamber’s Urban Planners Diyarbakır Branch Co-Chair Büşra Cizrelioğulları Sadak, who talks about the ongoing demolition in Sur for 15 days, says the cases opened by the families against the decision of ‘urgent expropriation’ are still continuing and states that the demolition is illegitimate and continues as unlawful.

The demolition began by the state on May 23 in the Lalebey and Alipaşa neighborhoods of Diyarbakır’s Sur district has continued. Sur people, who have not given up their resistance since the first day of the demolition, continue their resistance by the throat to not give their homes. Fighting against the lack of water and electricity, Sur people are also facing the risk of epidemic diseases. Chamber of Urban Planners Diyarbakır Branch Co-Chair Büşra Cizrelioğulları Sadak, who evaluates the 15-day demolition, says the start of the demolition without waiting the finalization of the ‘urgent expropriation’ order is unlawful.

‘The legal process continues, demolition is illegitimate’

Büşra states that the families applied to law on the first day of the urgent expropriation order issued. Expressing that the demolition started before the legal process has been completed; Büşra reacted to the silence of UNESCO. Büşra says, “The demolition ongoing here today is a result of policies carried out by the centralized government. Hevsel Gardens and Walls of Sur have been added to the list of the UNESCO, but the culture and life experiences in history of Sur are valuable and precious. Therefore, the demolition ignoring the social fabric, the life experiences and the culture is definitely illegitimate.”

‘What is going on in the four neighborhoods will be also done here’

Büşra states that the statement saying, “The houses and historical artifacts will not be damaged” in the Alipaşa and Lalebey neighborhoods is not true. Mentioning the siege is ongoing in four neighborhoods, Büşra says the same thing was told about the prohibited four neighborhoods but the historic fabrics in the neighborhoods were damaged.

Pointing out that no one is allowed to enter the prohibited four neighborhoods of Sur, Büşra says they have already determined the damage in Sur. Emphasizing that they have found out both the monumental and registered constructions are damaged in the district, Büşra says the four neighborhoods of Sur have been flattened.

‘The total demolition in the prohibited neighborhoods of Sur’

Mentioning that a total demolition is going on in the four neighborhoods of Sur without making a risk assessment and an examination, Büşra says, “The operations were ended on March 9. The demolition that occurred during the clashes has continued with the construction equipment. There is no guarantee that the same thing will not happen in Alipaşa and Lalebey while such kind of demolition happened in four neighborhoods. Hundreds of registered houses have been demolished in area so far but we cannot prove them because there is no document about that. Everything is up to the ministry.”