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|Internal flight alternative||Third countries|
|Return/repatriation||Positions on Return|
11.03.2008 - Source: US Department of State
Internally displaced persons (IDPs) (as of 2007) ("Country Report on Human Rights Practices 2007") [ID 22966]
"Various NGOs estimated that there were from one to three million IDPs in the country remaining from PKK conflict, which began in 1984, continued at a high level through the 1990s, and continued during the year. The government reported that 368,360 citizens from 62,448 households migrated from the southeast during the conflict, with many others departing before the fighting. In December 2006 Hacettepe University released the results of a study that was commissioned by the government, which concluded that an estimated 953,680 to 1,301,200 persons were displaced by conflict in the southeast between 1986 and 2005. The study found that the main reason for the large discrepancy between government and NGO figures was that the government only included persons evacuated by the security forces from settlements, and not those who were forced to flee because of general violence or for a combination of security and economic reasons. The study also noted that internal displacement in the country is part of a broader rural-to-urban migration by individuals seeking economic opportunity, exacerbated by the violence in the southeast, and has been affected by large-scale development projects, such as the Southeastern Anatolia Project, and natural disasters.
The law to compensate IDPs allows persons who suffered material losses during the conflict with the PKK to apply for compensation. On May 31, parliament extended the duration of the law so that applicants may apply for compensation until May 2008. Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported in December 2006 that the law was being implemented in a way contrary to the government's stated purpose and principles of fair and appropriate redress. According to HRW, rulings by provincial commissions charged with the law's implementation were inadequate and actually hindered those IDPs who would like to return to their preconflict homes. HRW also found that IDPs had no realistic avenue of appeal. These findings mirrored those of local NGOs and regional bar associations, which maintained that the law included unreasonable documentation requirements and awarded levels of compensation far below standards established by the ECHR. A representative from the Ministry of Interior denied that the government has implemented the law unfairly.
The Ministry of Interior reported that the review commissions had received a total of 278,165 applications for compensation under the law through December. The commissions have processed 97,579, approving 66,563 and rejecting 31,016. The government paid total compensation in the amount of $294 million (351 million lira), an average of $13,400 (16,000 lira) per person.
According to the Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV), the law only compensates losses suffered after 1987, leaving out victims who suffered losses between 1984, when the clashes started, and 1987. TESEV reported that many victims who fled the region because of the deteriorating economic and security situation have been unable to receive compensation because they could not demonstrate a direct link between their losses and the actions of either the PKK or the security forces. HRW reached the same conclusion in its December 2006 report, in which it noted that the government has unjustly refused to compensate those villagers in the southeast region displaced prior to 1987.
On June 26, Jandarma and village guards forced villagers to leave the Ceme Kare hamlet of Yapraktepe village of Siirt's Pervari district after the Turkish military proclaimed a "special security zone" in portions of Hakkari, Sirnak, and Siirt Provinces. The villagers, members of the nomadic Kican and Batuyan tribes, were evicted for security reasons in 1989 but repatriated to the area in 2003. When villagers protested security forces' orders to evacuate, the troops forcibly loaded their belongings onto trucks and took the belongings to the Pervari Jandarma station. Many villagers remained in Ceme Kare hamlet, although without provisions and with no access to their crops. The following day, after several villagers filed an administrative complaint, security forces blocked the main point of access to the village. Villagers alleged that the action prevented a couple from obtaining treatment for their sick infant, leading to the baby's death. On August 8, a villager filed an administrative complaint with the Siirt governorship. Jandarma officials took the applicant and 15 villagers into custody for questioning and released them the same evening.
Village guards occupied homes abandoned by IDPs and have attacked or intimidated IDPs attempting to return to their homes with official permission. For example, village guards reportedly threatened and beat Hayrettin Yildirim on several occasions since he returned to the village of Kasyayla in Batman Province three years ago. On April 10, village guards opposed to Yildirim and other returnees' attempts to resettle the land beat him to the point where he required medical attention, according to the HRA and an April 23 report in Radikal newspaper.
Voluntary and assisted resettlements were ongoing. In a few cases, persons could return to their former homes; in other cases, centralized villages were constructed. The government reported that as of September 7, its "Return to Village and Rehabilitation Project" had facilitated 151,469 persons from 25,001 households returning to their villages.
Foreign governments and national and international human rights organizations continued to criticize the government's program for assisting the return of IDPs as secretive and inadequate."
27.03.2007 - Source: International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights
Many of the approximately 400,000 persons forced to flee during the armed conflict with the PKK and other armed groups in the 1980s and 1990s remain displaced in East and Southeast ("Human Rights in the OSCE Region: Europe, Central Asia and North America, Report 2007 (Events of 2006)") [ID 19707]
"A considerable part of the estimated 400,000 persons or more, who were forced to flee during the armed conflict with the PKK and other armed groups in the 1980s-1990s, remained displaced in the eastern and southeastern parts of the country. Following criticism by the ECtHR in 2004 of domestic remedies available for IDPs, a new law was adopted, providing for a system of so-called administrative damage assessment committees to consider applications for compensation of damage. In a January 2006 decision, the court deemed this law to provide effective remedies for IDPs, and thereby to facilitate return.
According to Human Rights Watch (HRW), the work of the assessment commissions deteriorated after the ECtHR 2006 decision; the commissions excluded large numbers of applicants from the coverage of the law.
A new Law of Resettlement introduced in December gave rise to concern that IDPs who do not agree to resettle in the designated places may be deprived of benefits.
- In May, security forces reportedly failed to prevent mob violence against Kurdish IDPs in Izmir."
10.01.2007 - Source: EurasiaNet
Recent study estimates IDP population to be between 950,000 and 1.2 million, almost triple the government’s original numbers; background of IDP problem; current situation of IDPs ("Recent Study Sheds Light on Plight of Internally Displaced Persons") [ID 19673]
01.2007 - Source: Human Rights Watch
Situation of internally displaced persons (IDPs) ("World Report 2007") [ID 19014]
"The Turkish government has failed to facilitate the return of the estimated 378,335 internally displaced persons (IDPs) from the southeast who were forced by the army to flee their villages during the armed conflict with the PKK in the 1980s and 1990s. The government has failed to rehabilitate the basic infrastructure of most villages destroyed by the army during the conflict; many villages have no electricity, telephone access, or schools. What is more, the security situation in some regions remains poor; the 58,000 village guards—Kurds armed and paid by the government to fight the PKK—often occupy or use vacated lands, and have killed 18 people, including would-be returnees, in the past four years.
IDPs who do return to their villages cannot afford to rebuild their homes or re-establish agriculture. A 2004 compensation law, which could have provided the financial means to support IDPs who want to return to their villages, has been interpreted and applied by some provincial compensation commissions so as to pay derisory sums (often as low as US$3,000) or exclude eligible IDPs from compensation altogether."
14.12.2006 - Source: Human Rights Watch
Report on the impact of the country's compensation law with respect to internally displaced people (IDPs) (background; impact of the ECtHR on provisions for displaced; forced conciliation; trends since the Içyer judgment; methods used by damage assessment commissions to reduce or avoid payment; inconsistency in conciliation payments) ("Turkey: Displaced Villagers Denied Fair Compensation") [ID 19672]
For detailed information on the compensation law and its impact on IDPs consult the original document
"More than two years after coming into force, Turkey’s law to compensate the several hundred thousand mainly Kurdish villagers forcibly displaced by the armed conflict in the southeast of the country is being implemented in a way contrary to the government’s stated purpose and principles of fair and appropriate redress. Rulings by provincial commissions charged with the law’s implementation are actually hindering those internally displaced who would like to return to their pre-conflict homes. [...]
The Law on Compensation for Damage Arising from Terror and Combating Terror (Compensation Law), was adopted by the Turkish parliament and went into effect in July 2004. The law was intended to indemnify victims of the armed conflict between Turkish government forces and the Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK), which took place in southeastern Turkey from 1984 onward. Among these victims were the 378,335 villagers—mainly Kurdish farmers and their families—who were forcibly displaced from their homes and livelihoods by the conflict. Payments under the Compensation Law to this group are intended to cover losses arising from the original displacement, as well as those incurred during the decade or more that these families were unable to return to their property."
12.2006 - Source: Minority Rights Group International
Report on displaced persons (internally displaced persons; refugees; background on displacement; causes of displacement; problems currently experienced by displaced persons; return; human rights of displaced persons) ("The Problem of Turkey’s Displaced Persons: An Action Plan for Their Return and Compensation") [ID 19671]
For detailed information on different aspects of displacement consult the original document
"Millions of people are estimated to have been affected by forced migration or displacement in Turkey in the east and southeast, during the period of armed conflict between the security forces and the PKK, especially in the 1990s. This persists as a complex problem with political, economic, social, psychological and educational dimensions2. Despite the gravity of the situation over many years, the problems of the displaced have never been given sufficient emphasis within Turkey's national agenda. Only with the European Union (EU) candidacy process has the importance of the issue begun to be appreciated within Turkey."
08.11.2006 - Source: European Commission
Situation of internally displaced persons (IDPs) (no basic infrastructure; limited employment opportunities; security situation) ("Turkey 2006 Progress Report") [ID 19393]
"The situation of internally displaced persons (IDPs) remains an issue of concern. There has been no further progress on the establishment of a new governmental body responsible for implementing the “Return to Village and Rehabilitation Programme and to developing policy on IDP return. A study on IDPs carried out by the Haceteppe University should provide a thorough analysis and policy guidance, however its publication has been delayed.
Several factors affect negatively the return of IDPs: the absence of basic infrastructure, the lack of capital, limited employment opportunities and the security situation. In particular, large numbers of landmines13 constitute a strong disincentive to return. Moreover, the discretion of the governor plays a crucial role in the implementation of the legal and administrative provisions regulating return."
10.10.2006 - Source: International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights
Kurds and forced displacement (more than 378,000 Kurds displaced and more than 3,000 villages destroyed in the 1980s and 1990s) ("A Minority Policy of Systematic Negation") [ID 18456]
"In the 1980s and 1990s, more than 378,000 Kurds were displaced and more than 3,000 villages completely destroyed as Turkish security forces forcibly evacuated Kurdish rural communities on the pretext of combating the PKK insurgency. However, the Turkish security forces did not distinguish the armed militants they were pursuing from the civilian population they were supposed to be protecting, partly due to their cooperation with insurgents. A so-called village guard system was established ostensibly to protect villagers from militants. In practice, villagers were, however, faced with a frightening dilemma: they could become village guards and risk being attacked by the PKK or refuse and be forcibly evacuated from their communities.
These measures were taken under the State of Emergency Legislation, which also allowed for “temporary or permanent evacuations of villages.” This happened in a most brutal manner: Turkish security forces and the gendarmerie burned down villages, abused their inhabitants, and forced them away from their former homes. The operations were characterized by scores of “disappearances” and extrajudicial executions, torture, and other abuses.
Upon arriving in towns and cities after being evacuated from their villages, most were unable to find employment which soon hindered them from gaining access to health care and education and, in the long term, precipitated them in poverty and social exclusion."
10.10.2006 - Source: International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights
Kurds and forced displacement ("Return to Village and Rehabilitation Project") ("A Minority Policy of Systematic Negation") [ID 18457]
"In 1994, the Turkish government launched the “Return to Village and Rehabilitation Project” to facilitate the return of IDPs, yet, for over a decade, the project remained under-funded, abstract, slow, and arbitrary. In 2004, there were signs hat the government was beginning to realize that is policy on returns was in need of improvement and thus undertook to invigorate it. It formulated three promising initiatives, namely establishing a new government agency with special responsibility for IDPs, cooperating with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to help IDPs, and passing a law on providing compensation for the displaced (Law no. 5233 on Compensation for Damage Arising from Terror and Combatting Terror).
While the new government agency never came about, the UNDP program, however, was concretized when the UN agency launched the “Support to the Development of an IDP Program in Turkey” project at the “Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) Conference” in Ankara on 23 February 2006. The conference, co-organized with the Ministry of Interior as UNDP’s main partner in the IDP project, involved more than 80 participants from the Turkish government, national and international civil society organizations and international organizations.
Despite its promising and positive contents, the Compensation Law is still not being implemented to successfully restitute the rights violated in the context of forced migration. First and foremost, shortcoming in the scope of the Compensation Law create discrimination among IDPs, for example between those who suffered damages of property as opposed to those who suffered damages on life and body of a person, pain, or suffering. Second, the law requires a discouragingly lengthy and difficult judicial process, which is in part caused by a lack of independence and composition of the assessment commissions, criteria for excluding applications, limits on acceptable forms of evidence to support claims, the lack of legal support to help people make claims, and inadequate mechanisms to appeal against decisions by the commissions.
The “Return to Village and Rehabilitation Project” also faces obstacles specifically relating to returns. For example, IDPs are often not able to return to their own villages, but resettled in a different rural area in the same region, aid is restricted to villagers, and the infrastructure is inadequate. In addition, dire economic conditions hinder returnees from regaining their livelihoods, and the village guard system still causes security threats to returnees."
18.08.2006 - Source: Guardian
Turkey and Iran dispatch tanks and thousand of soldiers to frontiers with Iraq to fight Kurdish rebel bases; after shelling by the Iranian army scores of Kurds have fled their homes ("Kurds flee homes as Iran shells Iraq's northern frontier") [ID 17577]
28.05.2006 - Source: Integrated Regional Information Network
Iraqi villagers displaced by shellings on the border of Turkey, Iran and Iraq; on April 21 Iranian troops assaulted opposition group linked to PKK; Turkey reinforced its presence on the frontier ("Officials warn of displacement following attacks") [ID 15759]
23.02.2006 - Source: Human Rights Watch
High inconsistency in the rulings of provincial damage assessment commissions concerning internally displaced persons' applications for compensation under the Law on Compensation for Damage Arising from Terror and Combatting Terror ("Call for Urgent Review of Compensation Law Payments to Internally Displaced Families") [#44974], [ID 14515]
07.10.2005 - Source: Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (formerly Global IDP Project)
Report on internal displacement (background, causes, patterns), physical security, freedom of movement, subsistence needs (health, nutrition and shelter), patterns of return/ resettlement and humanitarian access ("Profile of internal displacement: Turkey") [#37407], [ID 14516]
10.2005 - Source: UK Border Agency (Home Office)
Report on internally displaced persons in turkey ("Country Report - October 2005") [#40563], [ID 14517]
for more detailed information seek original document page 137
"6.267 The European Commission 2005 report stated that:
“The situation of internally displaced persons (IDPs) remains critical, with many living in precarious conditions. With a view to complementing the ‘Return to Village and Rehabilitation Programme’, the Turkish government proposed recently the establishment of a new governmental body, co-ordinated through a new unit in the Ministry of Interior, to develop policy on IDP return and coordinate implementation of the existing Programme, in accordance with the United Nations Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement. In July 2005 the authorities issued a circular encouraging the relevant Governors’ offices to continue to ensure the return of IDPs, raise public awareness of the return scheme and collaborate effectively with NGOs.” [71e] (p39)
6.268 The EC 2005 report continued:
“There are approximately 1 500 applications pending to the ECtHR regarding displaced persons, which account for approximately 25% of all cases pending against Turkey. In June 2004 the Court ruled in favour of one group of applicants in a case concerning the denial of access to property in the Southeast, and in 2005 the Council of Europe began to consider Turkey’s compliance with the judgement. Several factors hamper the return of IDPs: the continued relative economic underdevelopment of the East and Southeast, the absence of basic infrastructure, the lack of capital, limited employment opportunities and the security situation. In particular, the existence of a large number of landmines [estimated by international NGOs to be 900 000 units] constitutes a strong disincentive to return. Reports suggest that landmines killed 20 people and injured 20 in the first seven months of 2005. Moreover, the discretion of the governor plays a crucial role in the implementation of the legal and administrative provisions regulating return. No progress has been made in addressing the problem of village guards. Reports indicate that village guards have on occasion attacked returning IDPs.” [71e] (p39)
6.269 The EC 2005 report further noted that:
“The Law on Compensation of Losses Resulting from Terrorist Acts adopted in 2004 has started to be implemented although with considerable delay and uncertainty. The law expired on 27 July 2005, although the authorities are working to establish an extension. As of August 2005, the Turkish authorities reported that 173 208 applications had been lodged. So far, 2 200 decisions providing for compensation of losses have been made. As of March 2005, 212 000 YTL had been paid to 22 people whose applications were considered eligible by the evaluation commissions. In May the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a circular to the Governorates urging them to rigorously implement the Law on Compensation. According to some sources, implementation of the Law has been slow. International NGOs as well as potential beneficiaries have highlighted that the system established by the Law has several shortcomings.” [71e] (p38)
6.270 As noted in the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants ‘World Refugee Survey 2005’, Turkey released on 16 June 2005:
“There were 350,000 to 1 million IDPs in Turkey. The Ministry of Interior counted less than 400,000 but its figure included only persons displaced as a result of village and hamlet evacuations in the southeast. It did not include people who fled violence stemming from the conflict between the Government and Kurdish separatists, which included evacuations, spontaneous movement, displacement from the southeast to the central and western parts of Turkey, and related rural-to-urban movement within the southeast itself. In July , Parliament passed a law allowing persons who lost property in the conflict to apply for compensation but it imposed a one-year deadline that would be difficult to meet for IDPs who had left the country or lacked documentation and excluded IDPs who had accepted token compensation in the past. The Government claimed that about 128,000 IDPs had returned as of November. The Government reportedly did not allow some IDPs to return to the southeast unless they signed a statement that they had been displaced by terrorism, rather than by government actions, and that they would not seek government assistance.” "
19.05.2005 - Source: International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights
Report on the situation of IDPs in turkey ("Human Rights in the OSCE Region: Europe, Central Asia and North America, Report 2005 (Events of 2004)") [#32120], [ID 14518]
"A large number of IDPs remained deprived of safeguards to protect their fundamental rights. While the government finally expressed intention to cooperate with relevant international organisations in helping IDPs, no concrete steps were actually taken in this regard.
According to the Turkish government’s various figures, at least 350,000 to 400,000 persons were displaced in the context of the activity of PKK and other armed opposition groups in the eastern and southeastern regions of Turkey. Human rights groups estimated that the number of IDPs, including those who felt compelled to leave their homes to protect their safety and the children born to IDP families, to be over three million. The issue remained largely under the authority of the military-dominated National Security Council, and the government, especially security forces, considered the IDPs as a security threat. The security situation remained the major obstacle to the return of IDPs and their reintegration in a framework that would be coherent with Turkey’s human rights obligations under UN, Council of Europe and OSCE arrangements.
While the government argued that nearly one third of approximately 350,000 IDPs had returned with support from government assistance schemes, local HRA activists reported that government figures were inflated. Security forces banned return to several villages, even when civilian authorities granted permission, and a large number of others were not able to return due to threats by village guards, who occupied the evacuated properties. In one case, the government evacuated village guards from an Assyrian village in Sirnak in September 2004, after some of its original residents returned from European countries. The government maintained around 60,000 village guards in the region. IDPs reported that government assistance was either inadequate or not forthcoming.
In 2004, the ECtHR found in six cases that the Turkish security forces were responsible for evicting and destroying the applicants’ properties. The court also concluded that, in the context of conflict in southeastern Turkey, the domestic remedies were not adequate or effective. While the government paid compensations to victims, they remained displaced. Legislation enacted in 2004 for compensation of harm done to property in the context of the Kurdish conflict fell short of the standards set by the court.
The HRA, Mazlum-Der and Goc-Der reported that village evacuations or other operations by the security forces compelling villagers to leave their homes restarted in 2003 in connection with a limited resurge in the activities of the PKK. They reported two cases of internal displacement in 2004.
• In August, it was reported that 343 villagers from a village in Beytussebap, Sirnak, were evicted and forced to live in tents and in destitution. The visiting human rights delegation observed that the IDPs had faced health and nutrition problems as well as daily harassment by the gendarmes.
• In December, a human rights delegation reported that returnees in a small village in Van were harassed and threatened by the gendarmerie with eviction if they did not join the ranks of village guards. The villagers alleged that they were kept under detention repeatedly, without any charges and for prolonged periods. The delegation also observed that, while the villagers were allowed by the authorities to return, they did not receive any assistance, they were living in indecent conditions and children were deprived of education.
The government still blocked humanitarian organisations from assisting IDPs. In 2004, both Diyarbakir Bar Association lawyers and Goc-Der Chairwoman were prosecuted for their lawful activities on behalf of IDPs."
07.03.2005 - Source: Human Rights Watch
Turkish government is preparing to take a new and more constructive approach toward the return of IDPs ("“Still critical”: Prospects in 2005 for Internally Displaced Kurds in Turkey") [#29758], [ID 14519]
"There are signs that the Turkish government is preparing to take a new and more constructive approach toward the return of IDPs. The government has announced plans to establish an agency to reshape the failed Return to Village and Rehabilitation Project and disarm the village guard corps. It has begun, tentatively, to share its work on IDPs with intergovernmental organizations, and in response the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has submitted a modest plan to collaborate with the Turkish government in meeting the needs of IDPs. The July 2004 Compensation Law adopted by the Turkish Parliament may provide some restitution for the losses suffered as a result of the scorched earth policy implemented in the southeast during the 1990s, although obstacles to its success are already emerging.
However, these are untried initiatives, and with the exception of the Compensation Law, not past the planning stage. The past decade is littered with widely-touted initiatives for IDPs that were starved of funds, lacked political commitment, and were eventually discarded. If the government’s new approach is to count for something, it needs to move quickly to operationalize plans for the government IDP agency and approve and implement the UNDP project. Success will also depend upon close scrutiny by the international community throughout 2005 to keep the government on track and avoid a repeat of earlier failures."
07.03.2005 - Source: Human Rights Watch
Continuing presence of village guards in some communities constitutes a major impediment to improved security and confidence among displaced villagers ("“Still critical”: Prospects in 2005 for Internally Displaced Kurds in Turkey") [#29758], [ID 14520]
"The continuing presence of village guards in some communities constitutes a major impediment to improved security and confidence among displaced villagers. This in turn has a major impact on their willingness to return. In Sirnak province, for example, where the village guard system is particularly strong, the government’s own statistics indicate that returns are running at less than half the rate of the best-performing province.
Displaced persons are understandably reluctant to return to remote rural areas where their neighbors, sometimes from a rival clan, are licensed to carry arms, as members of the village guard. Many villagers were originally displaced precisely because they refused to become village guards. Most village guards, like the displaced, are Kurds. As of August 2004, there were 58,416 village guards in Turkey. Village guards were involved in the original displacement, and in the intervening years have continued to commit extrajudicial executions and abductions. In some cases, village guards are now occupying properties from which villagers were forcibly evicted. They are sometimes prepared to use violence to protect their illegal gains. The failure of successive Turkish governments to hold accountable members of the security forces and village guard for abuses has created a climate of impunity.
In 2002, village guards allegedly killed three villagers who returned to Nureddin village, in Muş province. In June 2004, village guards were implicated in killing of five villagers in pastures near Akpazar village, near Diyadin, in Ağrı province. On September 25, 2004, a village guard in Tellikaya village in Diyarbakır province allegedly shot and killed Mustafa Koyun, a returnee villager. On or about October 7, 2004, villager İshak Tekin was wounded in an attack by village guards at his home in the settlement of Axçana, near Varto in Muş province. He was shot at close quarters, and lost an eye in the attack.
The October 6, 2004 European Commission Regular Report on Turkey describes the village guard system as one of the “major outstanding obstacles” to the safe return of IDPs. There have been repeated calls for the abolition of the village guard system both inside and outside Turkey. Those recommending the abolition of the system include: the Turkish Grand National Assembly’s parliamentary commission on political killings in its 1995 report, the Turkish Grand National Assembly’s parliamentary commission on internal migration in its 1998 report, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions in her 2002 report on her visit to Turkey, the UN Special Representative on Internal Displacement in his 2002 report on his visit to Turkey, and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in its resolution on Turkey of June 2004. Returns will continue to be slow unless and until the village guard system is dismantled and its members disarmed."
07.03.2005 - Source: Human Rights Watch
Plans to establish new government agency to coordinate policy and activities on behalf of IDPs ("“Still critical”: Prospects in 2005 for Internally Displaced Kurds in Turkey") [#29758], [ID 14521]
"In November 2004, the Turkish Foreign Ministry informed Human Rights Watch of plans to establish a new government agency to coordinate policy and activities on behalf of IDPs. The new agency would formalize the Return to Village and Rehabilitation Project with a new policy guideline document that would define eligibility and disbursement criteria, principles, rules, and participating institutions. The agency would also develop a new national framework to coordinate this integrated strategy in accordance with the United Nations Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement, and to develop a policy for demobilizing the village guard corps.59 The creation of a coordinating agency, and the concrete activities envisaged for it, are welcome and long overdue steps. The Return to Village and Rehabilitation Program has so far been little more than an empty shell. Its aims or objectives have never been made clear, and there has never been a government ministry or agency with clear responsibility for overseeing it. The announcement that the new agency will develop a plan for demobilising the village guard corps is particularly significant. To date, there have been no steps toward disarming the village guards, despite near unanimity that this is a necessary precondition for return in safety."
07.03.2005 - Source: Human Rights Watch
Government has yet to show any concrete achievements for IDPs; Return to Village and Rehabilitation Program is still little more than an empty shell ("“Still critical”: Prospects in 2005 for Internally Displaced Kurds in Turkey") [#29758], [ID 14522]
"In November 2002, the Special Representative of the U.N. Secretary General on Internal Displacement made a series of recommendations to the Turkish government.83 The proposals currently on the table, together with the Compensation Law, have the potential to address the SRSG’s recommendations in large measure, provided that they are implemented quickly and thoroughly. However, the cold fact is that more than two years after the SRSG’s report, the government has yet to show any concrete achievements for IDPs. The Return to Village and Rehabilitation Program is still little more than an empty shell, villagers have yet to receive compensation, and there is no formal collaboration or partnership with intergovernmental or nongovernmental organizations. Village guards still bear arms, kill their neighbours, and block returns in safety and in dignity. A substantial number of villagers have returned, but mainly on the strength of their own meagre resources, and only for the summer months because the government has not provided the infrastructure for them to settle permanently."
07.03.2005 - Source: Human Rights Watch
Without critical interest from the international community there is a risk theat IDPs will be disappointed once again ("“Still critical”: Prospects in 2005 for Internally Displaced Kurds in Turkey") [#29758], [ID 14523]
"If the government operationalizes its planned IDP agency, develops a credible plan for demobilizing the village guard system, participates in the UNDP project, and uses the Compensation Law to channel funds toward IDPs rather than as a bureaucratic scheme for withholding resources, it will have convincingly changed course. Whether it is ready to do this will become clear during 2005. Extremely close scrutiny by the relevant U.N. bodies and the E.U. throughout this critical year significantly increases the likelihood of progress. Without critical interest from the international community, an injection of a sense of urgency and sharp reminders of the standards contained by the U.N. Guiding Principles, there is a risk that the Turkish state’s well-established do-nothing policy will reassert itself and IDPs will be disappointed once again."
04.02.2005 - Source: Council of Europe - Parliamentary Assembly
Report on situation of Meskhetian population (areas of concern, prospects for future) ("The situation of deported Meskhetian population [Doc. 10451]") [#33352], [ID 14524]
17.01.2005 - Source: UN Human Rights Council (formerly UN Commission on Human Rights)
UN Commission on Human Rights (CHR): report on housing standards; compensation for forcibly evicted persons ("Report of Miloon Kothari, Special Rapporteur on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living - Summary of information transmitted to Governments and replies received [E/CN.4/2005/48/Add.1]") [#30295], [ID 14525]
42. On 11 December 2003, in a joint letter of urgent appeal with the Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on human rights defenders, the Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers and the Representative of the Secretary-General on internally displaced persons, the Special Rapporteur sent a communication to the Government of Turkey inquiring about the case reportedly lodged by the Governorate against Sezgin Tanrikulu, Sabahattin Kormaz, Burhan Deyar and Habibe Deyar, all lawyers of the Diyarbakir Bar Association. It is alleged that these lawyers were indicted on 3 June 2003, under article 240 of the Turkish Penal Code and article 59/1-2 of the Law on the Legal Profession, for “misconducting duty” and “abusing their legal responsibility” in connection with their involvement in compensation cases of villagers who were reportedly forcibly evicted from their homes, which were later burned, during the years 1993 and 1994. Reportedly, the compensation cases involved 96 villagers from Çaglayan village of Kulp district (Diyarbakir), and Ziyaret and Uluocak villages of Lice district. The letter expressed concern that the court case had been launched against the lawyers to intimidate and prevent them from denouncing the forced evictions and house demolitions, which had resulted in forced displacement, reportedly carried out between 1989 and 1999 as a form of punishment against the Kurdish population living in southern and south-eastern Turkey. The letter also urged the Government to provide information about the steps taken in compliance with various international legal instruments concerning the case.
43. On 20 January 2004, the Government of Turkey replied that the four lawyers had been acquitted on 24 December 2003. The Government further stated that the root causes of internal displacement in Turkey had been the scourge of terrorism that the country had suffered for two decades. According to the Government, large numbers of citizens had been compelled to leave their homes due to intimidation, harassment and attacks by terrorist organization PKK/KADEK. The Government also stated that a small number of settlements had to be evacuated by the relevant authorities to ensure the safety of the people as a precaution.
44. On 3 November 2004, in a letter of urgent appeal, the Special Rapporteur sent a communication to the Government of Turkey inquiring about forced evictions reportedly undertaken and planned in the municipality of Alibeyköy, Istanbul. According to the information received, 35 families were forcibly evicted from their homes by State security forces on 11 October 2004, many of whom were reported to be homeless at the time of the communication, or without adequate housing. It was further alleged that the municipality did not follow proper procedures for expropriation of property in Alibeyköy and that the municipality had proposed relocation to buildings which were reportedly considered inadequate due to prohibitive cost and other factors. These actions allegedly constitute a denial of housing and living conditions meeting the most fundamental international standards related to the enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights.
45. According to the information received, Alibeyköy is predominantly made up of immigrants from the former Yugoslavia who reportedly constructed their own homes around the factories established in the area during the 1950s and 1960s. It is reported that most of the residents continue to face poverty today and many are said to earn the Turkish minimum wage of 330 million lira a month. Allegedly, the residents of close to 150 other houses were facing eviction in the immediate future. According to the information received, residents who had approached the municipality were being told that they would receive compensation, although it was alleged that the amount was not equal to the present value of their current homes and inadequate for the purchase of a similar home.
46. On 16 December 2004, the Government of Turkey informed the Special Rapporteur that the settlement in Alibeyköy area, along the Küçükköy-Alibeyköy River, was one of the many that had been developed in an unplanned manner over the years. The Government stated that the dwellings in question, mainly squats, were built illegally on land belonging to the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality and the General Directorate of Foundations at the Prime Ministry. According to the Government, the area had become more prone to floods since the houses function as water collection canals. In order to protect the residents and to enhance the water expulsion capacity of the river basin, the Waterworks and Sewage Management of the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality prepared a project to reorganize the area, according to which the houses within a 30-metre perimeter along the banks of the Küçükköy-Alibeyköy River had to be cleared.
47. According to the Government, the inhabitants of the houses were given notice and were offered alternative accommodation in accordance with article 13/b of the Code on Construction Amnesty (No. 2981 (3290-3366)) and its Implementation By-Law and the Code on Squatter Houses (No. 755) and its Implementation By-Law. However the inhabitants did not react to these offers. The Municipality succeeded in identifying 18 families who were owners of their houses. The house owners were also offered alternative accommodations, which were social dwellings of 109 m2 in Güzeltepe neighbourhood, close to Alibeyköy. One fourth of the cost of each flat was paid by the Municipality. The remaining families affected were tenants. The Municipality also offered them alternative social dwellings in Güzeltepe and to reimburse the rents for one year following the eviction. Only some of the tenants responded positively. Eviction orders were sent a week prior to the eviction on 11 October 2004. An ambulance was on hand during the eviction. The Municipality also provided removal support to the evictees and their belongings were safely moved to their alternative accommodations. Some of the inhabitants who were resisting the eviction process were kept in a nearby school garden by police officers in order to prevent any social disturbance. It is also planned to expropriate other houses in the same area. The Municipality negotiates with the owners to reach an agreement on their eviction. In case the negotiations bear no result, a lawsuit will be filed in accordance with the relevant articles of the Code on Expropriation."
06.10.2004 - Source: European Commission
Situation of internally displaced persons (IDPs) is still critical, with many living in precarious conditions ("Regular Report 2004 on Turkey´s progress towards accession") [#26161], [ID 14526]
"The situation of internally displaced persons (IDPs) is still critical, with many living in precarious conditions. Turkey began a dialogue with international organisations in view of addressing the weaknesses of the “Return to Village and Rehabilitation Programme” which were highlighted by the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative for Displaced Persons following his visit to Turkey in 2002. The Turkish government is preparing a survey as a first step in following up on these recommendations.
There have been approximately 1 500 applications to the ECtHR on this subject. In June 2004, the ECtHR16 found that Turkey had violated Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 (“protection of property”), Article 8 (“right to respect for family life and home”) and Article 13 (“right to an effective remedy”) of the ECHR in the case of Turkish citizens trying to return to their village in the Tunceli region (Southeast).
According to official sources, since January 2003, 124 218 IDPs (approximately one third of the official total of 350 000) have returned to their villages. NGOs suggest that the number of displaced persons is much greater than official statistics indicate (the total number is estimated at 3 million).
The return of IDPs is hampered by the relative economic underdevelopment of the East and Southeast. The major outstanding obstacles preventing IDPs from returning to their villages are the government sponsored village guard system; the problem of landmines; the absence of basic infrastructure; and the lack of capital and employment opportunities. Public servants who were sent to the West of Turkey during the emergency rule period because it was considered too risky for them to work in the Southeast have reportedly not yet been given an opportunity to return. The discretionary power of each provincial Governor also plays a crucial role in the implementation of the legal and administrative provisions regulating return."
06.11.2003 - Source: Schweizerische Flüchtlingshilfe
Groups at risk (e.g. members of opposition parties, human rights activists, certain groups of women); inadequate implementation of political reforms (German) ("Asylsuchende aus der Türkei - Position der SFH") [#17802], [ID 14527]
"Einer asylrelevanten Verfolgung können insbesondere Personen unterliegen, für die es aufgrund der mangelnden Umsetzung der Reformen im Menschenrechtsbereich, vor allem aber aufgrund des landesweiten Einflusses der unabhängig von der Reformpolitik agierenden Sicherheitsdienste samt deren informellen Netzwerken keine sichere interne Fluchtalternative gibt. [...]
1.8 Aktivmitglieder des Vereins der intern Vertriebenen Göç-Der
Führende und besonders aktive Mitglieder der Göç-Der müssen mit Repressionen und Gerichtsverfahren rechnen und sind grossem psychischem Druck ausgesetzt.
1.9 Vertriebene Bauern und Bäuerinnen aus den südöstlichen Provinzen
Bauern und Bäuerinnen müssen bei Rückkehr in ihre Dörfer in den südöstlichen Provinzen mit Drohungen, Übergriffen, Verschwindenlassen bis hin zu extralegalen Hinrichtungen durch Dorfmilizionäre rechnen. Das Vorliegen einer internen Fluchtalternative ist unter Berücksichtigung der Schwierigkeit des Aufbaus einer existenzsichernden Lebensgrundlage mit Zurückhaltung anzunehmen (vgl. dazu Punkt 2). [...]
Die vorläufige Aufnahme wegen Unzumutbarkeit des Vollzugs der Wegweisung ist insbesondere folgenden besonders verletzlichen Personen zu gewähren, wenn diese entweder über kein soziales Netz (Unterkunft, Verpflegung, Zugang zu existenzsichernden Unterstützung) oder allgemein nicht über Voraussetzungen (Sprache, Schul- und Berufsbildung) für eine erfolgreiche Sozialintegration verfügen:
- Alte, Behinderte, Minderjährige;
- Kranke, vor allem mit besonderen chronischen und behandlungsintensiven Leiden, Traumatisierte;
- alleinstehende, alleinerziehende und verwitwete Frauen;
- kurdische Familien mit zahlreichen Kindern
Obwohl im Vergleich zu früheren Jahren eine leicht verbesserte Situation vorherrscht, sind die Möglichkeiten, existenzsichernde Lebensgrundlagen zu schaffen, aufgrund umfangreicher Armut und hoher Arbeitslosigkeit kaum gegeben."
20.10.2003 - Source: Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (formerly Global IDP Project)
Report focussed on internal displacement as a major concern in the OSCE area/ 3 million people who were forced to leave their homes as a result of armed conflict or human rights violations still wait for durable solutions to their plight ("Protecting internally displaced persons in the OSCE area: A neglected commitment") [#17054], [ID 14528]
"Between 1984 and 1999, large numbers of people, mainly of Kurdish origin, were forcibly displaced from Turkey's southeastern region during the armed conflict between government forces and the rebel Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). The total number of displaced remains a controversial issue. While the Turkish government claims that 378,000 persons "migrated" from some 3,000 villages, NGOs put the overall number of IDPs at up to 2-3 million. The US State Department considers a figure of one million a credible estimate.
The Kurds, who constitute the largest ethnic minority in Turkey (26 percent of the total population), have been denied minority rights since the origin of the Turkish Republic, and manifestations of Kurdish identity have often been brutally repressed. In 1984, the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) launched a guerilla war to which the Turkish State responded with a violent counter-insurgency campaign. Under a State of Emergency Decree, the armed forces were granted exceptional powers, which meant heavy military presence, martial law and severe restrictions to civil and political rights.
Since the arrest of the PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan in June 1999 and his subsequent appeal for a unilateral cessation of armed activities by the Kurdish armed groups, the level of violence in southeastern Turkey has significantly decreased. Following the improvement in the security situation and the end of the fighting, the systematic internal displacement of the Kurdish population has stopped. Nevertheless, only few IDPs have been able to return to their villages so far.
The most common form of displacement was the forced eviction of entire villages by Turkish security forces. The Government justified this practice as a means of protecting civilians and depriving the PKK of logistical support. Another factor leading to displacement has been the "village guard" system. Village guards, comprised of villagers pressured to join, and their families have been the target of deliberate and arbitrary killing by the PKK. The refusal of villagers to join the guard has often been followed by the evacuation of their villages by Turkish security forces, carried out in the most brutal ways, with reports of property destruction, rape, torture and extra-judicial executions. The European Court of Human Rights has found Turkey responsible for violations of the European Human Rights Conventions in numerous cases of arbitrary evictions, property destruction, disappearances and torture.
Following the forced evacuation of villages, the Turkish Government failed to provide emergency assistance to the people displaced. The majority of the displaced civilians were forced to the nearest provincial capitals, which as a result saw their populations increase significantly. While some IDPs found accommodation with extended family members, most gathered in slums on the outskirts of these cities. The majority of the displaced have continued to live in diffiicult circumstances of overcrowding and poverty in towns and cities throughout the country. Malnutrition, insufficient and dirty drinking water, improper disposal of sewage and garbage are common problems.
The situation of the displaced is further aggravated by the disastrous economic conditions prevailing in the southeastern provinces. The armed conflict and two decades of emergency rule have disrupted a region which even before had been one of the least developed parts of Turkey. Destruction of infrastructure, economic resources, live-stock, crops, houses, and farming machinery has made large areas uninhabitable. Cultivable land and irrigation channels have fallen into disuse, with numerous landmines adding to the problem.
The displaced Kurdish population faces an increased risk of diseases such as tuberculosis and malaria. Many IDPs suffer from traumata connected to their forced displacement. The local NGO Göc-Der reports that the inability of social adaptation is another concern, which has been caused by unemployment, shelter problems, children's educational problems, health problems, environmental pollution, cultural differences and feelings of exclusion.
Return and resettlement plans
With the security situation steadily improving, it should now be possible for those who want to return to their villages to do so. Voluntary and assisted resettlements have been ongoing, but only a fraction of the evacuees have returned. The Government estimates that 58,000 persons returned from June 2000 to October 2002 as part of the 'Back to Villages and Rehabilitation Project'. Another programme is the central villages project, which envisages resettling evacuated villagers into newly built villages.
However, a number of serious impediments to return remain. According to Human Rights Watch, inadequate government assistance and continued violence and harassment by security forces and village guards discourage returns or even cause returnees to flee again. The Government's return plans have failed to meet international standards and have therefore not attracted international funding. With regard to the `Back to the Villages' programme, only a few villagers have in fact been given permission to return to their homes. Moreover, "authorised" returnees have often not been allowed to enter their villages by the local military, or have been forced to sign forms stating that they were displaced due to terrorism. HRW has criticised the programme as being largely fictional with most abandoned settlements remaining no-go areas.
Highly dependent on agricultural resources, a significant proportion of Kurdish households have reportedly been unable to access any land to cultivate, as authorities have failed to address the issue of landmines and the illegal occupation of their land by village guards. Households applying for return assistance have been pressured by authorities to give up claims on compensation for loss of properties.
Even if the government's most optimistic figures are correct, only 10 to 20 per cent of the displaced population has returned. NGOs in close contact with the IDPs such as Göc-Der and the Turkish Human Rights Association believe that the government's figures are exaggerated and that in fact relatively few villagers have been able to return permanently.
The Turkish Government has long hampered any attempt by the international community to monitor the situation of the Kurdish minority in Turkey. Most international humanitarian organisations, including the ICRC, have been refused access to the southeastern provinces. Some can only operate under close police surveillance. Local organisations have faced relentless harassment by the authorities. However, recent developments give cause for careful optimism. A few international organisations have finally been invited to visit Turkey, including the UN Representative on Internally Displaced Persons. In addition, a number of democratic reforms introduced by the Turkish Parliament since August 2002 have included the easing of restrictions on both foreign and local non-governmental organisations working in Turkey. Amnesty International and HRW are now able to visit the southeastern region, though under close surveillance. International humanitarian NGOs, however, remain largely absent from the area.
Dr. Francis Deng, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General on Internally Displaced Persons, acknowledged after his visit to the country in May 2002 the more open approach by the government to return, and emphasised that the international community should take advantage of the changing attitude in Turkey in light of the country's efforts to become member of the European Union, particularly with respect to the nature of return."
20.10.2003 - Source: Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (formerly Global IDP Project)
Report focussed on internal displacement as a major concern in the OSCE area/ 3 million people who were forced to leave their homes as a result of armed conflict or human rights violations still wait for durable solutions to their plight ("Protecting internally displaced persons in the OSCE area: A neglected commitment") [#17054], [ID 14559]
30.09.2003 - Source: International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights
Report focused on latest human rights developments in the member states of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) ("Interventions and Recommendations by the International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights (IHF) on the Occasion of the OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting Warsaw, 6-17 October 2003") [#16408], [ID 14529]
"In addition to the above, there has been poor progress in the return of the estimated 380,000 to one million people who had been internally displaced from the south-eastern regions. According to Human Rights Watch, the Turkish government, security forces and paramilitaries were obstructing the return although active hostilities ceased in 1999. As a result, it appears that no more than 10% had ventured home by late 2002. In some cases local authorities forbid people to return, in others return is officially permitted but returning villagers are greeted with harassment, detention and attacks by the gendarmerie and village guards. Some have to flee a second time."
21.08.2003 - Source: Schweizerische Flüchtlingshilfe
Besondere Gesundheitsrisiken für Intern vertriebene Menschen (Binnenflüchtlinge) ("Swiss Refugee Council: Die medizinische Versorgungslage in der Türkei ") [#15405], [ID 14560]
"Intern vertriebene Menschen (Binnenflüchtlinge) in der Türkei sind besonderen Gesundheitsrisiken ausgesetzt. Die Lebensumstände in ihren neuen Siedlungen, welche sich häufig in Städten befinden, fördern die Verbreitung von Krankheiten wie Tuberkulose oder Malaria und führen zu einer erhöhten Anfälligkeit für psychische Erkrankungen. Der Zugang zu medizinischer Versorgung für diese Menschen ist schlecht. Es mangelt an den nötigen finanziellen Mitteln oder an Gesundheits- oder Sozialversicherungen. Es gibt zahlreiche Faktoren wie die ungenügende Infrastruktur, unhygienische Verhältnisse in den neuen Unterkünften, Mangelernährung und der psychische Druck, welche die Gesundheitsprobleme der Binnenvertriebenen zusätzlich erhöhen.
Intern vertriebene Menschen haben oft Schwierigkeiten, die Grüne Karte zu erhalten. Weil nur mittellose Personen Anspruch auf Erhalt der Grünen Karte haben, können die Personen, die in den Dörfern über Eigentum verfügen, die Karte nicht beantragen, obwohl sie keinen Zugang mehr zu diesem Eigentum haben. Auch wenn sie die Auflagen für die Beantragung der Grünen Karte erfüllen würden, können die Sicherheitskräfte deren Erhalt immer noch verhindern. Auch der lokale Sicherheitschef muss den Antrag unterzeichnen. Dies macht eine Reise zurück in den Herkunftsort notwendig. Aber auch mit Grüner Karte sind die Kosten für die Medikamente noch nicht gedeckt: So können sich viele Vertrieben die verschriebenen Medikamente nicht leisten. Im Stadtteil Baglar in Diyarbakir, wo anfangs bis Mitte der 1990er Jahre unzählige Vertriebene Zuflucht suchten, kommen gerade einmal drei Gesundheitszentren auf 300'000 Menschen. Viele der Vertriebenen leiden unter einer post-traumatischen Belastungsstörung oder sind schwer depressiv. So gab es alleine in Diyarbakir in den ersten vier Monaten des Jahres 2003 95 Selbstmorde."
16.07.2003 - Source: Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (formerly Global IDP Project)
Report on internal displacement (background, causes, patterns), physical security, freedom of movement, subsistence needs (health, nutrition and shelter), patterns of return/resettlement and humanitarian access ("Profile of internal displacement: Turkey") [#14407], [ID 14530]
21.06.2003 - Source: Schweizerische Flüchtlingshilfe
Situation der intern Vertriebenen bleibt weiterhin prekär ("Zur aktuellen Situation - Juni 2003 ") [#14557], [ID 14531]
"Die Situation der intern Vertriebenen ist weiterhin prekär. Für das Jahr 2001 meldete die Ausnahmezustandskommandatur grosse Zunahmen von Rückkehr in die Dörfer. So habe der Staat den Wiederaufbau verschiedener Dörfer finanziert: In Islamköy (Diyarbakir) wer-den 50 Häuser, in Konalga (Van) 383, in Kayakamçesme (Sirnak) 86, in Basaag (Sirnak) 106, in Dagdös (Siirt) 70, in Üzümlü (Hakkari) 125, in Ikiyaka (Hakkari) 200 und in Calidüzü (Bitlis) 40 Häuser gebaut. Bei diesen Dörfern handelt es sich um sogenannte "Zentraldör-fer", die für Dorfwächter und regierungstreue Stämme gebaut worden sind.
Wenn es die Rückkehr von DorfbewohnerInnen betrifft, die für die Unterstützung der PKK bekannt geworden sind, gehen die Dinge wesentlich langsamer voran. Die Organisation Göç-Der, die sich für intern Vertriebene einsetzt und sie bei ihren Gesuchen unterstützt, berichtet über zahlreiche Schwierigkeiten. Die meisten Personen, die in den 1990er Jahren vertrieben worden sind, konnten deshalb bis heute – trotz der zunehmenden Stabilität in ihrer Herkunftsregion – nicht in ihre Dörfer zurückkehren. In einigen Fällen haben sich die Gouverneure gegen die Rückkehr gestellt, in anderen sind die Dorfbewohner von der Gen-darmerie von der Rückkehr abgehalten worden und in nochmals anderen Fällen sind die Ländereien der vertriebenen DorfbewohnerInnen von Dorfschützern aus Nachbardörfern angeeignet worden.
DorfbewohnerInnen, die zurückkehren wollen, müssen ein Formular unterzeichnen, mit dem sie bezeugen, dass ihr Besitztum infolge des Terrors zerstört worden ist und dass sie kei-nerlei Ersatzforderungen an den Staat stellen werden. Wer dieses Formular nicht ausfüllt und unterzeichnet, wird nach Informationen der Göç-Der an der Rückkehr gehindert.
Einige DorfbewohnerInnen beklagten sich anlässlich der Parlamentswahlen vom letzten November darüber, dass sie von der Gendarmerie unter Druck gesetzt worden seien, sich im Wahlregister einzuschreiben und nicht für die HADEP zu stimmen, ansonsten könnten sie nicht in ihre Dörfer zurückkehren.
Im Laufe der letzten Monate finden zunehmend Konflikte zwischen rückkehrwilligen Dorfbe-wohnern und Dorfmilizen statt, welche sich deren Besitztum angeeignet haben. Es sind ei-nige Fälle von Mord bekannt geworden.
Im Frühjahr 2003 ist ein Gesetzesentwurf zur Rückkehr in die Dörfer veröffentlicht worden, der dem Parlament nach den Sommerferien 2003 vorgelegt werden soll. Interessant an die-sem Gesetzesentwurf ist, dass der Staat zum ersten Mal seine Verantwortung in Sachen Dorfzerstörungen eingesteht. Davon betroffene DorfbewohnerInnen können sich an den Staat wenden und eine beschränkte finanzielle Abfindung erhalten. Ein Fonds soll eigens dafür geschaffen werden. Zu kritisieren an diesem Gesetzesentwurf ist die Beschränkung der Abfindung auf Zerstörungen in den letzten zehn Jahren. Da die meisten Dorfzerstörun-gen vor Herbst 1993 stattgefunden haben, dürften die meisten Dorfbewohner leer ausgehen – ausser der Vorschlag würde diesbezüglich noch überarbeitet oder vom Parlament abge-ändert. Über die Höhe der Abfindung dürfen sich keine grossen Illusionen gemacht werden, weil der dafür vorgesehene Fond nicht sehr gross ist. Die Regierung will mit diesem Gesetz vor allem verhindern, dass sich die DorfbewohnerInnen mangels innerstaatlicher Abfindung an den Europäischen Gerichtshof für Menschenrechte wenden, was den Staat wesentlich teurer zu stehen käme."
04.10.2002 - Source: Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (formerly Global IDP Project)
Norwegian Refugee Council - Global IDP Project: (""Profile of internal displacement: Turkey"") [#8846], [ID 14534]
15.04.2002 - Source: Council of the European Union
Netherlands delegation to CIREA: Living conditions of IDPs ("Note from the Netherlands delegation to CIREA: Official general report on Turkey, January 2002" Rf. 7838/02") [#7991], [ID 14535]
"Families from the evacuated villages have settled mainly in the large cities in south-eastern Turkey
and in the cities of Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir. Cities in south-eastern Turkey in particular have
scarcely been able to cope with the influx of migrants. For instance, from 1990 to 1997 the
population of the south-eastern provincial capital Diyarbakir grew from half a million to three times
as many. Most of the rural population are camped out in the poorer areas on the outskirts of the
city, where facilities such as running water are scarce. The rate of unemployment is high. Some of
the forced migrants have succeeded in making a reasonable life for themselves in the city."
15.04.2002 - Source: Council of the European Union
Netherlands delegation to CIREA: Evacuation of villages in south-east Turkey ("Note from the Netherlands delegation to CIREA: Official general report on Turkey, January 2002" Rf. 7838/02") [#7991], [ID 14536]
"To deprive the PKK of its breeding ground and choke off supplies to PKK fighters in the
mountains, many villages in south-east Turkey have been evacuated and burned down by the armed
forces. Many families have thus been forced to settle elsewhere in Turkey. In June 2001, the
European Court in Strasbourg ordered Turkey to pay considerable compensation on that score to a
number of villagers, from the district of Lice in the province of Diyarbakir, who had been victims of
forced evacuation 1. According to the Turkish Parliamentary Commission on Migration, 401 328
people were forced to leave their original villages in 1998 2. At the end of 1999 official government
figures were some 85 000 lower. The highest number was cited by the IHD, which gave an
estimate of three million in 2000. The US Committee for Refugees considers that this figure
probably includes the large-scale economic migration from the region to the large cities and says
that 500 000 is a credible estimate of the number of displaced persons.
Since the return of peace in south-eastern Turkey at the end of 1999, the forced evacuation of
villages has come to a halt. Whereas in the first eight months of that year, 27 villages were
evacuated, no new evacuations took place during the remainder of 1999. In 2000 there were no
new evacuations with the exception of one incident, when inhabitants who had returned to their
village of origin had to leave again six months later. There were a few incidents in 2001. In July,
two villages in the district of Beytüşşebap in the province of Şirnak were evacuated by the security
forces after a mine explosion killed one and injured two members of the security forces. A few
villages in the province of Hakkari are reported to have been evacuated in August."