A model of the Sur district is pictured at a local municipality building in Diyarbakir, Turkey July 11, 2016. Picture taken July 11, 2016. REUTERS/Sertac Kayar
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When the United Nations inscribed the Roman-era walls of this mainly Kurdish city on its World Heritage list last year, it crowned a decade of efforts to rehabilitate a war-torn region. Within weeks, a cease-fire with Kurdish militants in southeastern Turkey shattered, unleashing some of the worst fighting in a three-decade conflict and laying waste to swathes of Diyarbakir's ancient district of Sur.More than 800 buildings in the 7,000-year-old city were razed, Soyukaya said.The government says 6,000 destroyed buildings will cost 1 billion lira ($345 million) to replace.The state expropriated 6,292 parcels, or 80 percent of Sur, in March pledging an "authentic rebuilding"."The government warned it would flatten Sur and build a new city in its place with apartment blocks and shopping malls," said Zulfu Livaneli, a Turkish novelist, filmmaker and composer. He quit a 20-year role as a UNESCO goodwill ambassador in protest at the damage done to Sur and alleged rights abuses.Before the fighting flared anew, the 5-km walls circled 1,200 historic sites, including caravanserais, churches and a synagogue, built with the stones of older structures.
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