Villages depopulated due to Turkish military occupation in southern Kurdistan

Turkey has established ten military bases in the Sheladize town of southern Kurdistan, leading to displacement of the local people.

The Turkish state continues to expand the military occupation in the Kurdistan Region in Iraq. In an article about the consequences for the local people in the mountainous Behdinan region, the Kurdish newspaper Hawlati, said: “Hundreds of villages in southern Kurdistan have been depopulated and occupied by the Turkish army, access is forbidden, roads have been closed.”

The article describes in particular the current situation in the town of Sheladize, which is located thirty kilometres away from the town of Amadiya in Duhok governorate. A large part of the villages are now empty due to the continued attacks by the Turkish army. According to Rizgar Übêd from the local administration, 85 villages have been completely depopulated. There is no life in these villages any more, and people from the surrounding area are forbidden to visit.

Nayif Siteyi from the village of Sire is quoted in the article as describing the empty villages as military camps and says that it is hardly possible to enter the surrounding terrain. Academic Dilşad Nesrullah, who also lives in Sire, says about the current situation: "The Turkish state has so far established about ten military bases in the mountains around Sheladize. The bases are located in the areas of Mam Reşo, Kêrya Dêrê, Serê Darê and Kelha Bêde. The Turkish state has deployed a large military contingent in the region."

According to Nesrullah, an average of 50 to 75 families lived in each of the evacuated villages, who left the region due to the constant threat of attack and moved to localities such as Sheladize, Dêrelok, Sersing, Qediş, Amadiya and Duhok.