Zakho philanthropist opens homes for people displaced by PKK-Turkey clashes

Turkish artillery shelling in a mountainous region of the Kurdistan Region. (Photo: Archive)
Turkish artillery shelling in a mountainous region of the Kurdistan Region. (Photo: Archive)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – A philanthropist in the Kurdistan Region’s Duhok province has announced that he will provide more than 50 apartments for people fleeing clashes between the Turkish military and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) along the border.

The move comes as nearly 50 villagers in the Amedi region of Duhok have evacuated as fighting between the PKK and Turkey intensified at the border between the Kurdistan Region and Turkey. Earlier this month, the village of Kesta was completely deserted as the warring sides’ conflict threatened their homes.

So far, both Kesta and Chalke villages have been totally evacuated due to the ongoing clashes. Kesta is predominately Muslim while Chalke villagers are mostly Christians.

Abdulrahman Rasul, a veteran Peshmerga in Duhok, opened 51 apartments in the province’s city center for people who are displaced by the conflict in order to help them find a safe place, he told Kurdistan 24.

The apartments have not been occupied.

Border posts have been constructed in four different villages in the Amedi district, including Kesta, and dozens of villages have been totally evacuated. People in Kesta have also evacuated their livestock in fear of the animals being targeted in the conflict.

One villager told Kurdistan 24 that he sold all of his animals as he was unable to graze them safely due to the threat.

“I have sold some of my livestock,” one villager told Kurdistan 24, as he had been unable to graze them due to the threat.

The PKK has been engaged in a decades-long conflict with Ankara over Kurdish rights in Turkey in fighting that has led to tens of thousands of deaths on both sides. Kurdistan Region officials have repeatedly called on Turkey and the PKK to avoid conflict in the Kurdistan Region, which has witnessed deadly incidents as a result of the fighting.

Editing by Joanne Stocker-Kelly