Construction efforts have reached the final stage in four districts of the southeastern province of Şırnak, which were severely damaged in clashes between the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the security forces over the last two years.
New buildings have been constructed near the Tigris River in Cizre as part of a project carried out by the Environment and Urbanization Ministry and the Housing Development Administration of Turkey (TOKİ). The efforts are also in the last stage in Silopi, İdil and central Şırnak.
According to the project, the state will provide compensation for the cost of the damage to houses and businesses that were either harmed or demolished if their area is above 45 meter squares.
The new houses and the businesses constructed by the ministry will be distributed taking the demolished ones’ area into account. If the rights owners obtain a larger house or a business, then they will pay 750 Turkish Liras per meter square on average.
The damage to those who own businesses or houses less than 45 square meters will be compensated for in cash.
Rental aid worth 560 liras for 2016 and 605 liras for 2017 will be given to those who accept a preliminary contract for new buildings to compensate for the loss experienced between the lifting of a long-running curfew and today. The aid will continue until the new houses and businesses are distributed to residents.
Residents of Şırnak, meanwhile, have demanded that the government not take extra money if the new houses are bigger due to the weakened regional economy.
“We liked the new businesses and houses. My house was 75 square meters. The smallest of the newly constructed houses is 90 square meters. I need to pay the difference of 15 square meters when I want to buy it. However, we don’t have the financial capability to pay the difference because we can’t conduct business. We demand that this difference not be taken,” a local businessman told daily Hürriyet.
Officials in the ministry said the lands of the demolished houses and businesses would remain with the residents and that the priority in distributing new houses would be given to those who pay rent because their houses were demolished.
Housing estates in four neighborhoods will include social facilities, Quran courses, mosques, schools, health centers and funeral homes.
New buildings were constructed in the Konak and Dirsekli neighborhoods to make up for the demolished houses in the Cudi, Nur and Sur neighborhoods of Cizre.
Buildings in the district were severely damaged after clashes between the PKK and security forces that lasted for 59 days. The Turkish General Staff announced that “the situation was under control” on Feb. 13, 2016.
According to the project, some 7,500 buildings will be constructed in central Şırnak, 3,500 in Cizre, 600 in İdil and 850 in Silopi.
In addition, rental aid worth 39 million liras was given to 3,660 rights owners. Some 164 million liras was distributed to 16,402 right owners following damage assessments, while 60 million liras were given to 2,605 right owners as property aid.
Some 46 million liras of aid was also given to families in need.