188,000 return to villages in Southeast

(Photo: Today's Zaman)

May 02, 2012, Wednesday/ 17:30:00

A total of 187,861 people who had to leave their villages due to acts of terrorism have returned to their villages since 2005, when the Return to the Village and Rehabilitation Project (KDRP) was launched in the Southeast.

The KDRP helps families who left their villages return, making sure that they can reside in their old village or in another location nearby and have access to the necessary social and economic infrastructure in the area. The project focuses on 14 provinces (Adıyaman, Ağrı, Batman, Bingöl, Bitlis, Diyarbakır, Elazığ, Hakkâri, Mardin, Muş, Siirt, Şırnak, Tunceli and Van) where terrorism-related migration has been highest. Under the project, the state gives funds to agricultural, farming and handcraft projects to start life once again in abandoned villages and make it permanent.

Recent steps taken by the government to support investment in the region have made returning to the Southeast easier for people who left their hometowns due to terrorism. In addition to the KDRP, a massive housing project and more factories and businesses providing employment provide further stimulus.

In the years when clashes were most intense, at least 1 million people in the region were forced to migrate to bigger cities, where their employment, health and education needs were not addressed in any way by the state.

According to data from the Interior Ministry, TL 128 million have been transferred to provinces that are included in the KDRP so far. The amount of funds allocated for the KDRP in the general budget of 2012 is TL 17 million.

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