Environmental destruction by state-appointed trustee in Bitlis

Under the pretext of road construction, the Turkish trustee in Bitlis had thousands of trees cut down.

The 7,000-year-old city of Bitlis is famous for its buildings and nature. It is known as the hometown of the ancestors of the Kurds, the Hurrians. Unique natural beauties include the largest crater lake on Mount Nemrut, Mount Sîpan, Van Lake and the Sehi Forests. Bitlis is one of the most heavily forested and mountainous regions of Kurdistan. The historic stone buildings of Bitlis have decayed and many of them have even been demolished by the state under any pretexts.

In the nineties it was the soldiers, today the trustees

The regions of Tatvan, Mutki, Hizan and Norşîn are surrounded by mountains and covered with dense forests. The primeval forests were burnt down and destroyed dozens of times by the Turkish state in the 1990s. The municipality of Bitlis is under a state-appointed trustee since 2016. The forests and mountains are still burned down today by the military, but thousands of trees are being cut down under the pretext of road construction. Hundreds of years old trees were torn down with excavators.

"It's not about service, but about the destruction of nature and history"

Residents of Bitlis strongly protest against the destruction of the forests. Some told ANF: "As the people of Bitlis, we do not want anything from the AKP or the trustee. For two years they have occupied our city administration. In times of the DBP city administration, the town hall was like our own house. But today the city administration is only in the service of the state. Lately they have cut down thousands of trees under the pretext of road construction. We know this attitude well. Their goal is not to provide services, but to destroy nature and history. The Turkish state has so far done nothing good in Bitlis. We just want them to return the city administration they usurped from us."