The Turkish government sets eyes on Munzur Springs

Ali Önlü, an HDP deputy for Dersim Province, criticises the Turkish state's destruction of the Munzur Springs.

The springs of the Munzur belong to the holiest places of the Alevite population in the province of Dersim (Tunceli). The government wants to close the source region near Ovacık district and redesign it for profit. The population has not been involved in the project in any way, and a comprehensive ban on assembly has been imposed locally. The area is cordoned off by the military and police. Free access and picnics were forbidden. The people of Dersim are protesting against the environmental destruction.

HDP member Ali Önlü has visited the region for an inspection. He describes the government's actions as unacceptable and says: "The government did these things even before 1938 [the genocide] in the name of 'investments'. Roads and military bases were built in the name of civilisation. All this was aimed at separating the population from its historical roots.”

Önlü continued: “They march into an important religious place with tanks, artillery and excavators. This shows their mentality of destruction towards this people and this country. They treat the language, faith and identity of these people with disrespect. At the time of the Gezi resistance, the AKP leader had spread the lie that the people went to the mosques wearing shoes. But here, at the Munzur Springs, they march with weapons. The streets are closed and they control the people, what they have in their pockets. They only allow a certain number of people. But here is not only a centre of faith, but also of culture and life. The protests of the people in Dersim, the faith institutions and the civil society organization are important and right. This is an unacceptable attack."