KCDK-E calls for struggle against ecocide in Kurdistan and Turkey

While the Turkish army is setting forest areas on fire in Kurdistan, the Akbelen forest is being cut down for lignite mining in western Turkey.

While the Turkish Mediterranean province of Muğla is fighting against the deforestation of the Akbelen forest for brown coal mining, forests in Kurdistan are being systematically destroyed by the army. In Mount Cudi in the Kurdish province of Şırnak, forest areas have been set on fire by soldiers, and the army is preventing civilian fire-fighting operations. The Youth Council of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) in Urfa held a demonstration on Friday to draw attention to the burning forests on Mount Cudi and declared that the Turkish state in Kurdistan is waging a war against nature, people, animals and the ecosystem in Kurdistan. It pointed out that this is not only about the exploitation and destruction of nature, but also about the depopulation of the Kurdish regions.

The Congress of Kurdistan Democratic Societies in Europe (KCDK-E) released a statement calling for the defence of the forests in Kurdistan and Turkey. The Ecology Committee of the KCDK-E pointed out that the destruction of nature in Turkey is taking place for the profit of corporations, while in Kurdistan the war against the people is in the foreground.

The statement by KCDK-E Ecology Committee includes the following:

"The fascist AKP/MHP government is opening up natural habitats for the plunder and exploitation of energy and construction companies and continues to burn and clear forests. Nature in Kurdistan and Turkey is being made uninhabitable for corporate profiteering. The fascist government is turning habitats into a hell by appropriating the land and water we drink. The resistance of residents and activists in the Akbelen forest in the Milas district of Muğla continues with great determination, although the state is trying to enforce the clearing with a large contingent of police and military. The banners "We will defend each tree one by one" reflect this determination.

At the same time, the state is burning the forests in Cudi in Kurdistan and does not allow any intervention in forest fires. The forest fires in the region between Şırnak and Silopi have reached a very serious point as soldiers are cutting down trees and burning the forests. The Turkish Forestry Ministry is not ashamed to spread the lie that there is no fire in Cudi. Not only are the fires not being fought, but the people who are mobilised to put out the fires are prevented from doing so by soldiers.

The military's attitude is based on a hostile policy against the Kurdish people and will lead to widespread destruction if no one takes action against it. The state, which has been aiming to depopulate Kurdistan for years, is not satisfied with this and is targeting nature, the air, the water and the history of Kurdistan. At the same time, it is committing ecocide against all living beings. The use of environmental destruction as a military strategy to suppress popular struggles is a war crime under international law and cannot be tolerated. Deforestation is one of the most common methods used in this sense. Our people must defend the land, water and forests of Kurdistan in all fields, knowing that the crimes against our nature are a systematic genocidal policy against our existence. The mentality with which the forests in Akbelen are cut down for profit is the same mentality with which the forests of Kurdistan are burnt. Our people should defend the forests of Kurdistan and Turkey against ecocide with the consciousness of an ecological society and the principle of the universality of nature.”