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Reconstruction work brings more gloom to southeast Turkey

Renovation work has begun in the emptied, conflict-ravaged old city of Diyarbakir, where the government's restoration project is being criticized as a security move rather than an effort to preserve internationally acknowledged historic sites.
Concrete blocks are placed next to the historical city walls at the main entrance of Sur district, which is partially under curfew, in the Kurdish-dominated southeastern city of Diyarbakir, Turkey March 17, 2016. REUTERS/Sertac Kayar - RTSAV57

DIYARBAKIR, Turkey — When Hilmi Akyol returned to his neighborhood four months after fleeing clashes between the Turkish security forces and Kurdish militants, he found his street leveled, all its buildings razed to the ground. He found his one-time home by the greenery of two tons of sprouting wheat.

“I had bought two tons of wheat for the hens and pigeons I used to keep. When I returned after four months, I found the wheat sprouting in the rubble,” Akyol told Al-Monitor. “There was nothing left on our street — a street 200 or 300 meters long with absolutely nothing on it.”

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