Forest fires a campaign of ecological destruction in Kurdistan

The forest fires in Kurdistan are part of the warfare. Environmental activist Vahap Işıklı speaks of an ecological campaign of destruction.

Nature also suffers from the war that the Turkish state has been waging against the Kurdish people for years. Vahap Işıklı is the spokesperson of the Alliance for the Protection of the Historical Hevsel Gardens in Amed (Diyarbakir) and has spoken to ANF about the environmental destruction in Kurdistan. He explains that forests in the western regions of Turkey are being burned down to maximize profits. In Kurdistan, however, nature is being destroyed due to the state's war policy.

The environmental activist points out that every year, especially in June, forests in Kurdistan are deliberately set on fire: "For days now forests have been burning again and nothing is being done to put out the fires. From Nusaybin to Cudi, from Gabar to Besta, from Lice to Dersim, forest fires are raging. In Kurdistan, military outposts are set up on the burned areas. In Turkey, on the other hand, buildings are being built instead of the burnt trees. Before every military operation in the Kurdish areas, forests are set on fire. When the fires are reported to the authorities, it is said that there is either no water or no fire-fighting teams. The reason for this is the military operations. For this reason, an ecological campaign of destruction is being waged against nature. This extermination campaign is completed by the construction of hydroelectric power plants and dams."

According to Işıklı, environmental destruction leads to outbreaks of disease: "This situation is also present in the coronavirus pandemic. Many different diseases occur in this way and spread rapidly. The forests provide protection. There is no difference between the Ida Mountains in western Turkey and the mountains of Kurdistan. Unfortunately many ecologists and the public see it differently. We must fight against forest fires and the destruction of nature everywhere, no matter where they occur. All of them endanger the ecological balance and therefore pose a threat to us all. Even if only one tree suffers damage, the living creatures in the forest suffer. Many living beings have been killed in the current forest fires. As the Hevsel alliance we are monitoring the situation closely. All people must fight against environmental destruction and stand up for nature."