Monday, September 6, 2010

Internal refugee street-seller face municipal suppression

06 September 2010

Omer Karaman under pressure from municipality

Omer Karaman is an Internally Displace Person Kurd who was forced to leave his village in Van after it was burned down by the Turkish Army due to so called security reasons in 1990’s. Karaman and his family first moved to Ankara where he worked as a construction worker until he had an accident and fall down from the top floor which destroyed his life for the second time and cause physical disability. He then moved to Istanbul where he works as a street seller. However, this time municipal police of AKP started harassing him on account of the fact that street selling in illegal.

Karaman said the municipal police would raid the street sellers three times in a week and seize his goods. “I am victim of forced migration and the state has already burned my village and destroyed my life. Now there are trying take away my only source of income which I need to feed my children” added Karaman.

Karaman also stated that the AKP municipality is tolerating the other street sellers who are voting for AKP. He rises against this injustice and says I was deprived of my land once and now they are depriving us of our bread.

Omer Karaman also sufferes psychological problems since he has to escape from municipal police to prevent his goods to be seized, but as he says he cannot manage it always. One of the shopkeepers where Karaman sets his stand confirming Karaman’s discrimination complaints said even the shop keepers cannot stand the injustice that Karaman is subjected to and they do not understand what the municipality wants from him.