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Turkish military has imposed restrictions on freedom of movement in twenty villages in Bradost, say locals

Disrupting life there
A general view of mountainous Bradost area in Erbil (Photo Credit: NRT Digital Media)
2019-04-20

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SULAIMANI – Turkish military units operating in the mountainous Bradost area of Erbil province have imposed strict rules on freedom of movement for residents of twenty villages there, locals have said. 

Mam Attar, 60, who lives in Khalifan village in Bradost, said that Turkish airstrikes have separated him from his orchards and the mountains in the area.

He says that he can easily see Turkish military bases from his house.

In an effort to combat Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) fighters in the area, the Turkish military has deployed units more than 30 kilometers into the Kurdistan Region and has set up more than a dozen bases.

Attar says that he has given up breeding animals and does not go beyond the boundaries of his village because of the restrictions imposed by Turkish commanders.

While some officials from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) place equal blame on the PKK and the Turkish government for disrupting life in the areas along the Turkish border, Attar said he saw the issue differently.

“The Kurdistan Workers's Party does not enter our village, it protects the people,” he said.

The biggest problem, locals say, is that the Turkish presence has infringed on their freedom of movement and that the military has imposed a curfew.

This has prevented them from engaging in traditional pastoral activities, such as taking their livestock to graze in the mountains. As a result, some have given up their herds.

“I was a student, but gave up [going to] school because my school was far away. The Turkish army has issued the decision that we cannot go out from our houses after 10:00 p.m.” a youth told NRT Digital Media.

“All the Turkish movements in the Kurdistan Region since last year have not been in cooperation with the KRG. They have entered a place that was not in the control of the KRG,” an official told NRT Digital Media.

“We are unaware of Turkey’s decisions. I am calling on people to protect themselves,” he added.

(NRT Digital Media)