Başbakanlıkın, İstanbul Valiliği'ni, Sulukule'de insan hakkı ihlali olup olmadığını araştırmakla görevlendirmesinden 1 ay sonra kurulan komisyon, çalışmalarına dün başladı. İstanbul Tabip Odası Genel Sekreteri Dr. Hüseyin Demirdizen, CHP İstanbul İl Başkan Yardımcısı Benan Baykal, Umut Çocuklarını Koruma Derneği Başkanı Yusuf Ahmet Kulca, İstanbul Teknik Üniversitesi'nden Doç. Dr. Kadriye Bakıcı, Mimar Sinan Üniversitesi'nden Doç. Dr. Çağlayan Kovanlıkaya'dan oluşan komisyona bilgi veren Roman yurttaşlar, burada yaşamaktan vazgeçmeyeceklerini söyledi.
Kaynak: Cumhuriyet Gazetesi
Situation in Sulukule scares human rights commission
Thursday, May 29, 2008
ISTANBUL – Turkish Daily News
The demolition of houses in Istanbul's Sulukule neighborhood as part of an urban transformation project should be stopped, the Sulukule branch of the Istanbul Governor's Office told the Turkish Daily News yesterday.
Following a visit to Sulukule yesterday, a committee of the branch came to the conclusion that urgent measures should be taken to protect the physical and psychological health of the Roma people and their children, who have been living in the neighborhood for centuries.
“The threat of new a demolition negatively affects the psychological situation of people. An explanation is needed to eliminate their worries concerning the future,” said Hüseyin Demirdizen from the Istanbul Chamber of Doctors, or İTO. Demirdizen is also a member of the committee.
Fixing the sewerage system of the neighborhood, which was damaged during the demolition of the houses, should be a priority, according to the committee. Removing the rubble in the area and covering the electricity line that was left open after the demolition have to be taken care of as soon as possible, the group said.
“The results of the examination frightens me,” said Benan Baykal, a committee member from the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). “Before getting an answer to the question whether there are human rights violations here, they should not start the destruction [of houses]. That is the first violation,” Baykal said.
Yesterday's visit is a preliminary investigation, said committee member Yusuf Ahmet Kulca in his statement to the media. It might take a month to complete the entire assessment of the situation, he said. The committee wants to meet with all the parties of the urban transformation project.
The Prime Ministry's Human Rights Commission last month called on the Istanbul Governor's Office to inspect allegations in the media that Sulukule residents are encountering serious economic and social problems, and especially children are negatively affected by the situation, as they were obliged to move from the neighborhood because of the urban transformation project in the area.
Selling houses to third parties
Roma people who have been urged to leave the area voiced their concerns and complaints to the committee. Among the major issues they pointed to was the sale of their property to third parties who pay more for their property than Fatih Municipality. They also complained that illiterate people here were urged to sign documents that they cannot understand.
“Everything looks fine on paper. But people living here say different things. There is a conflict here,” Kulca said. Another major problem in the region is that tenants in Sulukule were left on the streets as the houses they resided in were sold and then destructed by the municipality, members of the Roma community