Duvar English

Yezidis repeatedly attacked in the southeastern province of Batman have decided to leave Turkey, saying that they wish to come back someday.

The Erkiş family left their native village Kuşçukuru in 1992 and went to Germany after giving their lands’ temporary use and cultivation rights to the leaders of the Karabulut and Biter families during this time period.

They wanted to return after 27 years, but the Karabulut and Biter families refused to give the land back, prompting the Yazidi family to file a lawsuit.

The court ruled in favor of the Yazidis and ordered the two families to give the lands back to their rightful owners. But this time, the families started to harass the Yazidis, undertaking both verbal and physical assaults, in an attempt to deter them from resettling in their lands.

Being able to plow their lands only when they are accompanied by gendarmerie forces, the Erkiş family was attacked four times in the past three months, with the most recent one being on Dec. 17.

Following the attacks, Batman Governor Hulusi Şahin held a meeting with all three families, which failed to find a solution to the problem.

“Karabulut and Biter families promised in front of the governor that no one would plow the lands in our villages except us. However, they threatened us once again after we left the meeting,” Nedim Erkiş told reporters in a press meeting on Dec. 21, adding that they will depart to Germany.

Yazidis’ lawyer Abdullah Akın also spoke at the meeting, saying that the right to own property is “sacred” and that it’s the duty of democracy to protect it.