‘The Turkish state burned 35 percent of the forests in South Kurdistan’

Sarwar Qaradaxi, a member of the Kurdistan Nature Organisation, recorded that the Turkish state burned over 1 million 300 thousand dunams of forested land in South Kurdistan, 35 percent of all forests in South Kurdistan.

The invading Turkish state intentionally targets the nature of Kurdistan during its genocidal occupation attacks. The attacks ongoing for years have devastated a broad area. Under the guise of fight against the PKK, the fascist Turkish state has bombarded every mountain, lowland and valley in South Kurdistan.

Pointing out the devastation of the forested lands in consequence of the Turkish state’s attacks on South Kurdistan, Sarwar Qaradaxi said, “According to many reports, the Turkish state has resorted to chemical weapons 11 times so far. These weapons used against the guerrilla forces also damage the nature of Kurdistan seriously.”

Speaking to ANHA, Sarwar Qaradaxi recalled that the Turkish state’s fighter jets had bombed South Kurdistan 698 times between 2015 and the end of 2019 and added, “During this period of time, they also conducted attacks with artillery shells 555 times. In 2020 alone, they bombarded South Kurdistan 300 times.”

Expressing that the bombardments have seriously devastated Kurdistan's nature, Sarwar Qaradaxi continued, “All creatures in nature have been affected by these attacks, which also forced many people to immigrate. Agriculture, a fundamental means of living in the region, has suffered large-scale damage in the attacks.”

Reminding the Turkish state’s recent bombardment against Bencewin region, Sarwar Qaradaxi said, “Due to the fires started by bombardments, a large amount of agricultural field burned down. The bombardment burned the products, people’s only means of living, which were grown with a one-year labour. They were all burned to ashes by the Turkish state.”

Sarwar Qaradaxi informed that South Kurdistan used to host 30,000 dunams of post-planted forests in addition to 2 million 500 thousand dunams of natural forested land. He noted that due to the invading Turkish state’s attacks, 1 million 300 thousand dunams of forests were burned down in the last ten years, which makes up 35 percent of all forests in South Kurdistan. He condemned the silence of South Kurdistan government and parliament against the attacks, and said, “The Iraqi state, using its sovereignty rights, can demand the Turkish state to be brought to account. However, the Iraqi government unfortunately remains silent against these. This is a shame.”

Addressing to the nature conservation organisations in all four parts of Kurdistan, Sarwar Qaradaxi called on these to raise their voices against the Turkish state’s attacks.