ERBIL, Kurdistan Region - Turkey has brought back some 300 Turkish families from Ukraine and settled them in embattled Kurdish areas in the southeastern part of the country in an apparent attempt to change the demographic makeup of the region.
Due to military confrontations between Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) fighters and the Turkish state, hundreds of thousands of Kurdish families have fled their homes in Gavar, Nusaybin and Bitlis.
The Turkish government has built some 72 residential units for the Turkish familie in Khalat town, in the city of Bitlis.
"The state brought in 72 Turkish families to Khalat. Some of these families were initially transferred from Ukraine to Bursa.”
'They are our brothers and sisters. They were stressed, living in regions [in Ukraine] locked in fighting. We will help them here," Mumtaz Choban mayor of Khalat, told Rudaw.
The Turkish families are happy for their relocation and their settlement by the state in the town.
More than 80% of the city’s residents are Kurds. They believe that the settlement of Turks in the city is a policy to change the demographic makeup of the city.