Turkish Government Destroys Roma Homes

An intervention by a US congressional agency to prevent the ongoing demolition of Istanbul’s traditional Roma neighborhood known as “Sulukule” apparently has fallen flat since seven more homes fell to the wrecking ball and the Turkish government announced the controversial project will continue. On Sunday, the American Helsinki Commission, a human rights watchdog, sent a letter to the Turkish government asking it to halt further destruction of a neighborhood which is predominantly Roma and would result in forcing thousands of people to seek other shelter. “The unfortunate outcome of this urban project will not only destroy this historic neighborhood but will force 3,500 Sulukule residents” to move miles out of the city in search of living accomodations.

The deputy chairman of the Justice and Development Party(AKP) insisted his government is “deeply concerned about the condition ofthe Roma.” For some reason this deep “concern” does not extend as far as protecting their homes from destruction.