Women demand an end to environmental destruction at Cudi

Activists of the women's movement TJA protested on Mount Cudi against the destruction of the tree population by village guards. The women demand: "Don't continue on this wrong path, don't become a tool of the dirty machinations of the government."

The Kurdish women's movement TJA (Tevgera Jinên Azad) demands an end to the environmental destruction at Mount Cudi. In the region in the countryside of x Şırnak province, whole forests are wanted destroyed to give way for the construction of further bases of the Turkish army. The so-called village guards serve as henchmen of the military. To protest against this, TJA activists marched to the slope of the Cudi on Friday. The protest was also attended by Nuran Imir, a deputy of the Peoples’ Democratic Party of Peoples (HDP) and members of the Women's Council of Şırnak. The women unfurled a banner saying: "We will expand our resistance against the plundering and destruction of nature".

All living beings are destroyed

Zozan Aksu of the HDP's provincial association described the destruction at Cudi as a war of the Turkish government against nature, saying: "Thousands of hectares of forest are being destroyed under the pretext of military operations that have been going on for years. Because of the artillery shells and firearms, large areas of forest are simply burned down. In addition, the nature of the Cudi region is being destroyed by mining operations. What we see in Şırnak is not only environmental destruction. All living beings in the region are wanted to be destroyed by the hands of collaborators and village guards."

Appeal to village guards

Aksu appealed to the village guards: "You are committing a crime. You are violating the constitution and one day you will be punished for it. Those who let you do this know that it is a crime, so they do not do it themselves. "Stop this, don't let them make you the tool of the government's dirty work."

Imir: "They consider Kurdistan a spoil"

HDP MP Imir spoke of a "century-old policy of annihilation and denial". Environmental destruction is part of this, the politician stressed and continued: "And as if all this was not enough, they consider Kurdistan as their spoil. Wherever there are attacks on nature and our existence in Kurdistan, we as Kurdish women will be protesting it. We will not remain silent. We will not allow the destruction of nature and we will stand up for our environment. Cudi belongs to the people. This is our first action. We warn you not to participate in this destruction, take your hands off our nature."

What are village guards?

The Hamidiye regiments in the Ottoman Empire are considered the historical model for village guards. The present village guard system was created in 1985, one year after the start of the armed struggle of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). At that time, the Turkish government under Turgut Özal began recruiting and arming Kurdish tribes and clans in its war against the PKK.