ISTANBUL - Turkish Daily News
The return journey continues for people who left their villages due to terror incidents in eastern and southeastern Anatolia in the 1990s.
The Return to Village and Rehabilitation project, or RTVR, initiated by the Interior Ministry in 2006, aims to create sustainable living conditions and the necessary social and economic infrastructure for the families who wish to return voluntarily to their villages.
Of the people who had to flee their homes, 151,469 have returned, said Interior Minister Beşir Atalay, responding to a motion tabled by a Republican People's Party, or CHP, deputy. YTL 68,283 has been spent on the infrastructure of 945 deserted villages, he added, according to the Anatolia news agency.
The project encompasses 14 cities, from where 386,360 people from 62,448 households departed through the years due to security reasons, as well as the underdevelopment in the region caused by terror. RTVR aims to offer people opportunities to earn a living through vocational courses, handicraft projects, micro credit provision, animal husbandry and agriculture. Atalay said joint projects were being carried out with international and national resources in line with RTVR.
The special provincial administrations' budget and solidarity associations provided the funds for the project. Moreover YTL 15 million was allocated from the state budget, Atalay said. He explained that the funds were spent on infrastructure investments like roads, water, electricity and sewage, as well as for repair work on schools, mosques and health clinics. Construction materials were also provided to returnees to build homes.