23 regions in the province of Binöl in Turkey has been shut down to civilians
After big losses in the recent elections the ruling party, AKP is showing carrots and sticks to the Kurdish population in Turkey. Kurds have withdrawn the temporary support they had given in the past to the ruling party when the government showed openness to negotiate with the Kurds. The result of this was evident in the last elections and even before the elections. In Kurdish towns and villages where the Kurdish candidates won the local governments with overwhelming majority of the votes the elected municipalities were taken over by the AKP ruling party and Turkish “stewards” were appointed. Kurds in the west, especially in Istanbul, the largest city in Turkey, supported the main opposition against the ruling AKP party by withdrawing their candidates. Even with tremendous fraud and rigging, the opposition won in Istanbul with the Kurdish support. AKP is still sore for this loss, and has escalated the attacks against the Kurds with large scale military operations in the Kurdish provinces.
The closing of 23 regions to civilians comes at the heel of escalated attacks against the Kurds in other provinces. Only last week a government attack on Halfeti in the Urfa province of Turkey left 2 people dead and two entire neighborhoods arrested. The witnesses came forward to report indiscriminate torture of the arrested. This collective punishment is common mostly in the Kurdish regions in Turkey.
Bingöl is a Kurdish region in the east and has seen its share of government attacks. Eastern Turkey used to be the agricultural center feeding the entire country. However, especially with the military’s unimaginable attacks of 1990’s, the region was depopulated as the Kurds were forced to migrate out of their homeland by the Turkish government and the army. This collapsed the animal husbandry and agriculture and today Turkey imports meat, grains, and even hay. With the additional privatization of state ranches, sugar factories, and other vital industries Turkey has deepened its dependency to international markets.
Turkish government declared the 23 regions in Bingöl an unspecified “temporary special security zone.” Raids and military operations are already underway in this Kurdish region.