Residents of four Kurdish villages in Diyarbakır’s (Amed) Dicle (Pîran) district have been unable to maintain their livelihoods as a Turkish army blockade continues to severely restrict access to vital services as well as the land and properties, Mezopotamya Agency reported.
The four villages, Tonekrak, Pirejman, Berig and Tirmal, were designated as special security zones in 2009. Entry and exit is forbidden in these villages between 17:00pm and 07:00am.
Agricultural work that needs to be carried out in the colder hours of the day is interrupted due to the restrictions, and animal husbandry has suffered as villagers have not been able to take their livestock out to pasture, Tonekrak resident Kadriye Karata told Mezopotamya.
Villagers are not allowed to leave during curfew hours even if they need urgent medical attention. “By the time we call the village chief, who calls the soldiers, who then call god knows where to call an ambulance, people suffer. My mother died this way,” another villager, Habibe Karateke, said.
The blockade has also affected the infrastructure in the villages, and residents are frequently left without power or water.
Turkey’s cabinet has the authority to declare temporary security zones, upon request from the armed forces or Interior Ministry. The law regarding military and security zones does not specify a maximum time limit for the temporary declarations.