Geliyê Godernê is being destroyed by tree cutting

The forest area in Geliyê Godernê is being destroyed. Ahmet Inan from the Amed Bar Association warned that the disruption of the ecological balance could be irreversible.

Tree cutting for "security" reasons is continuing in the Godernê Valley (Geliyê Godernê), located in the triangle of Pasur (Kulp), Licê (Lice) and Farqîn (Silvan) districts of Amed province. The valley will also be submerged under the waters of the Silvan Dam, which was built for "security" reasons.

The Amed Ecology Association, the Amed Bar Association and the Agriculture and Forestry Service Branch of the Union of Public Employees appealed to a court for a suspension of the execution. However, it was rejected by the Diyarbakır Chief Public Prosecutor's Office without even being submitted to the Administrative Court. The prosecutor's office rejected the application, arguing that cutting trees is not a "crime".

Ahmet Inan, from the Amed Bar Association Urban and Environmental Law Commission, spoke to the Mesopotamia Agency (MA) about the rejection by the Diyarbakır Chief Public Prosecutor's Office and the ongoing tree cutting.

Dams will destroy history

Inan said that Geliyê Godernê was a perfect natural area, adding that there are Assyrian and Armenian rock artifacts, ancient rock caves and rock art in the region. Inan remarked that history would be destroyed if the region remained under dam waters, insisting that the ongoing tree cutting in the region would ensure it. Inan noted that officials dynamited some parts of Geliyê Godernê to obtain building sand. He said: “The trees that were cut down are given to village guards with a tender. More than 100 hectares of area in the region have been destroyed."

Legal attempts fail

Inan revealed that together with Amed Ecology Association, they filed a criminal complaint about the tree cutting in March. However, no action has been taken against any tree-cutting in Kurdistan, and they could not get any results from their legal applications. Inan emphasized that the tree cutting in the region caused the destruction of both livestock and agriculture. Inan said: “It also means the destruction of the habitat. It is the most fundamental factor that will even change the migratory route of birds and change the humidity and climate of the region.

No administrative decision for tree cutting

Inan continued: “Village guards take advantage of the tree cutting. If there is a legal basis for it, we will initiate legal action against it. We could launch action for annulment. However, there is not even an administrative decision about cutting down trees here. It was given to the relatives of village guards by a tender, so we can't do anything other than file a criminal complaint.”

80 percent public space

Inan pointed out that more than 80 percent of Geliyê Godernê was public space and private property was very limited. He added that the tree cutting was a crime and unacceptable.

Thousand years of historic bridge

Inan said that the bridge in Geliyê Godernê had a thousand-year history and there was also rock art in the region which can be declared a historical site.

Power plant in main water source

Inan added that there was also a Hydroelectric Power Plant (HEPP) project in Sarım Stream in the region. Inan unveiled that the power plant would be built in the main water source that flows into Geliyê Godernê. Inan said: “We have also filed action for annulment. As the Bar Association, we are doing our best. We will continue to protect nature.”

'Point of no return'

Inan concluded: “Those who are cutting down trees will also need this air and water. Everything can be recovered, but the disruption of ecological balance is going to a point of no return. Therefore, we call on all the authorities here, the people living, lawyers and ecologists to express their concern over this issue.”