The fires in Cudi tell of the Turkish army, quarries, oil companies

Although a week has passed since the forest fires that started on 26 July in the Cudi region of Sirnak, they have not yet been brought under control. Interventions to these deliberate fires are prevented by the same security forces.

The forest fires, which started between Cudi and Silopi on 26 July, continued to burn until 29 July.

Since the area where the fire first started is a "military security zone" and entrance and exit to it is only allowed with special permission, the control of the fire is closed to the intervention of municipalities and civilians.

Fires in the same region many times before

Every year, at the same time, a fire starts on Mount Cudi. Cizre Municipality co-mayor Mehmet Zırığ, who was replaced by a state-appointed trustee, talked to ANF about the latest situation regarding the fire.

Mehmet Zırığ said that entrance and exit to the area is prohibited due to the fact that the entire area is a military zone, and added that they received news about the fire from people in the surrounding villages.

Stating that the region in question has been burned for many years for different reasons, Zırığ said: "The fire is not completely under control. We are informed that there are still burning in places. It is an area where there are dozens of police stations and entrance and exit to it is prohibited. There are evacuated villages in the region and villagers can only go with special permission for vineyard planting. According to the information given to us by the villagers, it is not possible to see whether the fire has been extinguished. We know that the fires in this region reached the villages of Silopi in the past years."

Mehmet Zırığ stated that no government agency had responded to the Silopi Municipality, after it called to denounce the fire on the first day.

Zırığ added that a few town municipalities close to the fire area are run by AKP members, so they do not have any information about whether those municipalities have taken any action.

Pointing out that the area where the fire broke out is a region where illegal tree felling is done, Zırığ emphasized that the increasing number of quarries and oil exploration companies in and around Cudi Mountain are the main reasons for the fires.

Zırığ continued: "There is a military security concept in the Cudi, Gabar and Besta regions, where trees are cut and fires are set up by public institutions. Since the region is a military region, no institution is allowed to intervene in the fires. The Cudi and Gabar mountains have recently been opened for stone and coal mines. This is an area where oil exploration companies operate intensively. The companies did not leave any places to be excavated on Mount Cudi. We know that there are oil exploration companies in the area where the fire took place."

Zırığ said: "It is sad to see that, while people rightly raised their voice for Akbelen and drew attention to what happened there, it keeps silent about what is happening in Kurdistan."