Call for action for Dersim
The forest fires started by the Turkish state in Dersim’s central and rural areas have spread to thousands of hectares with the wind.
Several NGOs and political parties have protested the forest fires started by the Turkish state in Dersim and called on environmentalists to protect Dersim’s natural environment. The joint statement on the forest fires is signed by 8 NGOs and the HDP.
The statement said the forest fires started by the Turkish state in Dersim’s central and rural areas have spread to thousands of hectares with the wind.
Th statement also said most fires had been taken under control with intervention by volunteers but started to spread again after a while.
Signatories also pointed out that protecting and improving forests is in the constitution as well, and stressed that living spaces are being ignored and not protected.
The statement said: “Despite all efforts by the people of Dersim, the area is ‘restricted’ and volunteers are prevented from intervening with the fires. Responsible state authorities are not letting people through, and not doing anything to fight the fires.”
The joint statement continued: “Our living spaces have thousands of living and non-living creatures in them, and the best oak trees in the world as well as endemic species are being destroyed. We as the representatives of Dersim’s associations, their members and the friends of Dersim are resolute to fight to protect the values of the people of Dersim, their culture, the city’s nature, forests, animals and insects.”
The associations said it is not the first time the forests have burned in Dersim: “We are calling on all environmental organizations and all ecologists to defend the forests being burned in Dersim.
Another call goes to the people from Dersim who live in the diaspora, and all friends of Dersim and nature: Let’s protect our lands together.”
The signatories are Ankara People of Dersim Association, Pirsultan Abdal Cultural Association Headquarters, Alevi Cultural Associations, Alevi Bektashi Federation, Hacibektash Anatolian Cultural Foundation Headquarters, Democratic Alevi Association Ankara Chapter, IHD Headquarters, KESK and HDP provincial and district chapters.