Erdogan outlines rebuilding plan for SE Turkey

Turkish president says reconstruction in areas damaged by terrorism will strengthen trust

Erdogan outlines rebuilding plan for SE Turkey

World Bulletin / News Desk

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday reiterated the government’s determination to rebuild certain areas of the country’s southeast where anti-terror operations ended to clear the region of PKK terrorists.

“The government’s duty is not only to improve construction but also to improve [people’s] hearts,” he told an urban transformation conference in Istanbul on Monday. “We have to strengthen our citizens’ trust, commitment and faith in the government.

“The terror organization has been causing great suffering for our citizens since July. Our cities have been destroyed by exploding bombs.

“Our purpose is not to destroy homes but to provide our citizens with safe ones.”

Large urban areas such as Diyarbakir’s Sur district and Cizre in Sirnak province have been severely damaged in fighting with the PKK, which has widely used explosives to ambush security forces.

Sur, parts of which are a UNESCO World Heritage site, has been particularly badly hit.

“We will build new housing that shows the history of Sur [and] allows our citizens to live in tranquility,” Erdogan said, echoing comments made last week by Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu about plans to renovate the historic district.

A series of counter-terrorism operations were launched across southeast Turkey in December to oust terrorism from a number of urban areas, following the PKK’s resumption of attacks in July that ended a two-year “solution process” to end the 30-year conflict that has claimed the lives of more than 40,000 people.

Since the summer, more than 350 members of the Turkish security forces have been martyred in clashes with the PKK - listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and EU. Thousands of terrorists have been killed.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 11 Nisan 2016, 15:41