By Abdul-Khaleq Dosky.
Almost 30 years ago they were forced from their land so Turkish military could freely hunt rebels across the border. Now the Kurdish villagers, who have lost hope of ever returning home, are demanding financial compensation through Iraqi courts.
“All our fields were burned and all our villages wrecked,” recounts Jalal, a woman who once lived in the village of Birafdkla, the traditional home of the Rikan tribe along the Turkish-Iraqi border. “Every day Turkish planes and guns bombed our village, hunting for the PKK,” she complains, referring to the fact that the Turkish military often cross over the Iraqi border in order to hunt down members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party or PKK.
Jalal, who now lives in about 30km west of Amadiya near Dohuk, doesn’t think she will ever be able to return to her mountain home. And she is not the only one.
Almost 30 years ago, villagers living on the 15 kilometre strip of land stretching from the border between Iraq and Turkey were evacuated from their villages. This was due to an agreement between the Turkish and Iraqi governments. There were 122 villages in this area and these included the hamlets of Nirwa, Rika and Dosky Shory.