Felled trees to be used for heating military bases in Şırnak

The forests in Northern Kurdistan are systematically cut down, through which paramilitaries earn vast sums of money. Some of the wood goes directly to military forts in the region and is burnt there for heating.

The destruction of the forests of Northern Kurdistan, especially of the Cudi massif in Şırnak province, has been increasing since 2019. This is mainly due to the fact that the destructive campaign is driven by the military and brings massive profits for so-called village guards, which carry out the clearing work and pocket a part of the profit when reselling it. This destruction of Kurdistan's nature is a military expression of the Turkish colonial policy in Northern Kurdistan. The forests are not being destroyed for profit and exploitation alone, but above all to deprive the Kurdish guerrillas of places of retreat. It is therefore no coincidence that some of the felled trees are taken by lorry to the cities for sale, while others are stored in military forts and at checkpoints. The wood is supposed to heat the bases in winter.

According to the Mezopotamya news agency, forest areas in Botan near the villages of Cinîwer, Xerbigê, Bestin, Navyan, Bêlûzer, Şerevan and Rîsor as well as in the areas of Kaniyamîr, Birateto, Birapeşo, Deyndarok, Serêrû, Tîkera, Qûrteka Pêşya and Girê Derîncê are particularly affected. The areas were declared "special security zones". Tree falling is also taking place in the areas around Atatürk Burnu, Ax Reşka, Çala Nêriya, Çala Guza and Deriyê Çirçira on Mount Cudi.

One of the main beneficiaries of the clearing work is the Babat clan of village guards. Among others, the "Dagger Team", a death squad of the Turkish state responsible for countless murders, is recruited from the Babat clan. Its leader, Alihan Babat, was "elected" mayor of Şenoba on the AKP list and gave up his position with the killer unit to his brother Zübeyir Babat. The Dagger Team carries out tree-cutting operations in the Cudi, Gabar and Besta areas and takes part in the Turkish army's cross-border operation against the Kurdish guerrillas.