The Turkish authorities should halt a series of heavy- handed forced evictions which have already resulted in a number of vulnerable families in central Istanbul effectively being made homeless, Amnesty International said today.
Dozens of families in the Tarlabaþý district are facing forced eviction as a result of an urban regeneration project. They told Amnesty International they have been subjected to intimidation and threats by the local Beyoðlu municipality and law enforcement officials. In some cases those officials forced them to sign eviction notices without being allowed to read them, or told them that failure to sign the documents would result in their immediate eviction.
Some residents have already been evicted. On 24 June, Besra, a single parent, returned from visiting her mother in hospital to find her door broken in. Officials forced her to vacate her home immediately, throwing her belongings out onto the street. Other families threatened with eviction include Roma, Kurds who settled in Tarlabaþý after being displaced from south-eastern Turkey in the 1990s, and transgender women, who already face considerable difficulty accessing housing.