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IRAQI KURDISTAN: Take ownership of your home

CPTnet

26 June 2017

IRAQI KURDISTAN: Take ownership of your home

By: Daan Savert

On 15 May 2017, we as delegates of the CPT Iraqi Kurdistan spring delegation visited Basta, one of the 63 villages that dot the high mountain area of the Pishdar region of Iraqi Kurdistan. Kak Bapir, the village leader, and his family welcomed us warmly. “The people of CPT are no longer guests here,” Kak Bapir said. “So take ownership of your home.”

In the 1980s the regime of Saddam Hussein displaced thousands of civilians inhabiting the mountains and lowlands of the Pishdar region. After the fall of the Ba’ath regime in 2003 the people were glad to return to and rebuild their homes and villages. However, in 2007 a new period of misery started, when both the Turkish and the Iranian governments began to bomb the region. In 2012 Iranian cross-border artillery bombardments ceased but Turkish air strikes continue until this day. The latest attack took place on 6 April 2017.

Over the last ten years Turkish and Iranian bombs and rockets killed twenty people and destroyed more than one hundred village houses. The farmers and shepherds had to repeatedly abandon and flee their homes. The people of the region suffer from the loss of animals, destruction of homes, businesses and agriculture and a delayed electrical project. Because of the bombings there is a lack of teachers, since they are afraid to come to the villages to teach the children. All of this has resulted in a lot of mental health problems in the region. 

 Kak Bapir and delagates

Photo: Kak Bapir and CPT delagation.

Video Introduction

 

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About CPT

Partnering with nonviolent movements around the world, CPT seeks to embody an inclusive, ecumenical and diverse community of God's love.  We believe we can transform war and occupation, our own lives, and the wider Christian world through:

  • the nonviolent power of God's truth
  • partnership with local peacemakers
  • bold action

CPT places teams at the invitation of local peacemaking communities that are confronting situations of lethal conflict.  These teams seek to follow God's Spirit as it works through local peacemakers who risk injury and death by waging nonviolent direct action to confront systems of violence and oppression. 

CPT understands violence to be rooted in systemic structures of oppression. We are committed to undoing oppressions, starting within our own lives and in the practices of our organization.