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Back home after clashes, Kurds in Turkey's Sur find only debris

Some look for their homes, others for the bodies of relatives as Kurdish civilians are finally allowed to return to devastated neighborhoods in Diyarbakir after months of clashes between Kurdish militants and the security forces.
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DIYARBAKIR, Turkey — Some tall buildings in Diyarbakir’s ancient district of Sur serve as observation towers these days. After months of being refugees in their own city, local residents are finally allowed to return to some neighborhoods where fierce clashes between Kurdish militants and the security forces raged earlier this year, leaving the area in unrecognizable shape. Climbing on top of multistory buildings that survived the clashes, Kurdish civilians are now anxiously surveying the damage, while many are desperate to spot their homes — or what remains of them — in areas that remain sealed off, months after the security crackdown ended in March.

Shortly after the entry ban to some streets was lifted recently, a group of women climbed the steps of a five-story building, stopping on each floor and peering into open doors. Some residents were back to collect usable belongings. The women wished them well, and, moving on, grumbled, “Let Allah punish those who put us through this.”

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