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Siverek (Zazaish : Sêwrege, from , means black ruins) is a town and district in the south-east of Turkeymarker, in Şanlıurfa Province. Population 127,000 (town); 250,000 (district) (2000 census).

Siverek is in Şanlıurfa province but closer geographically to the large city of Diyarbakırmarker (approx 83 km). In the Ottoman Empire period Siverek was within the province of Diyarbakır, and the people of Siverek are famously reluctant to accept being part of Şanlıurfa even today.

In the countryside the people are mostly ethnic Zaza with some Kurds. There is also a Turkmen community in the village of Karacadağ and a small number of Arabs. The people are poor and live by working in the fields here and as share-croppers in the villages of neighbouring Diyarbakır. They are famously welcoming to visitors.

The town has little in the way of social amenities such as cafes, cinemas or parks but the ayran of Siverek is known for its quality.


In common with other districts of Şanlıurfa business and politics in Siverek are strongly influenced, even controlled, by a powerful clan. Siverek is the home town of Sedat Bucak, the former DYP member of parliament who survived the car crash in the Susurluk scandal. He is the leader of the Bucak clan, one of whom has represented the area in the Turkish Parliament since its foundation. Sedat Bucak remains a friend of current DYP leader Mehmet Ağar.

The Bucak clan are Zaza people who moved to Siverek from nearby Diyarbakır in the 1800s. They have always been loyal to the Turkish state, particularly during the Shaikh Said uprising in the 1920s. They were members of the party of Adnan Menderes' Demokrat Parti but survived the coup that deposed Menderes in 1960. The Bucak were also active in the struggle against the Kurdish separatist PKK. In the 1970s the Bucak family were targeted by the PKK, being a powerful Zaza (not Kurdish) clan, and they continued to actively oppose the PKK all through the 1990s and beyond. During this period hundreds of members of the Bucak clan were employed by the state as village guards in Siverek and Hilvanmarker. The area was the scene of kidnappings, disappearances and assassinations across the political spectrum in this period.


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