'Turkey destroys trees in the regions it has occupied'

Zîkri Zêbarî, a lawmaker from the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), said that the Turkish state cut down trees and established military bases in every place it occupied. Zêbarî called for opposition to the Turkish invasion.

The nature of Kurdistan is being plundered by the invading Turkish state forces which has been bombing the mountains of Kurdistan for years, also destroying trees in the areas it has occupied. Especially in Bakur (North Kurdistan), hundreds of tons of trees have been cut down by a village guard leader, Şehmus Babat, alone. As part of occupation policies, trees are cut down and burnt by village guards and state forces in Cudi, Zap, Avaşin and Metina regions where Turkey’s military attacks have recently escalated. Moreover, new roads are being constructed in cooperation with South Kurdistan’s ruling KDP to build new military stations.

For about 2 years, trees have constantly been cut down in Cudi and Besta, where criminal networks are assigned to destroy trees. Criminal groups brought in from the towns of Sêgirkê and Hilalê get paid 150-200 Turkish Lira per day in the Qilaban, Besta and Tîkerayê regions. The village guards Mahmut Babat, Kazım Babat and Süleyman Babat, who were granted a state tender to cut the trees in Besta, are also putting pressure on villagers to destroy nature.

It is reported that 300 tons of wood are cut down per day in the Tîkera region and are transported by tractors to an area near the town of Sêgirkê. Trees are then sold by Mahmut Babat, Kazım Babat and Süleyman Babat. Apart from the Besta, Cudi and Gabar regions, village guards also cut down trees in Girê Sor, Xêrga Girê Guzgê, Tenura, Gire Gêsin, Çalpîjîna, Baskê Qulinga, Mergumar, Kaniya Mîr, Bîratetum, Bîrapêşû, Cinîwer, Beruzer, Rîsor, Naviyan, Benuzer, Girê Sîvê, Pişta Reşa, Çemê Mezin and Kurta Xanî villages. Trees are gathered in Rîsor and Naviyanê villages before being sent to different cities by trucks and lorries.


Cutting down trees is also carried out in Başur (South Kurdistan) in cooperation with the ruling KDP. According to Rojnews, while trees are being cut down by the KDP in the Berwari region, the Turkish state has started to build a military base near the village of Hiror. It is reported that trees were cut down under the supervision of KDP’s border guard units to build a new road for the military base in the region. Rojnews stated that that the Turkish military base is being built with the help of Dilêr Ferzende Zebari, the commander of the 1st Brigade of the Border Guard Units affiliated with the KDP. According to a local source, the Turkish forces have also started cutting trees in Saxan and Şeşdaran districts near Zakho under the supervision of the KDP forces.

According to a report by the Kurdistan Green Party, the Turkish government has cut down 3 million trees in the Behdinan region. Ebdulrehman Sidîq, Chair of the Kurdistan Region’s Environmental Protection Board, raised concern over the genocidal attacks and the destruction of nature and remarked that 1 million dunams of land had been damaged due to Turkish bombings.


PUK lawmaker Zikrî Zêbarî spoke about the invasion attacks of the Turkish state.

Zêbarî said that the invading Turkish troops plundered every place they attacked and established military bases, reacting to the silence of the Kurdistan Region Parliament and the Kurdistan Region Government towards the invasion attacks. Zêbarî pointed out that every party in the parliament has different opinions, yet when it comes to the lands of Kurdistan, everyone should take a serious stance to defy the Turkish invasion. “Since 2015, nearly 150 civilians have been martyred in their gardens and fields in South Kurdistan. 133 citizens were injured. 1800 dunams of agricultural lands were burned. A serious damage has been done to South Kurdistan’s nature. Numerous citizens have left their villages, yards and gardens,” he remarked.

“The Kurdistan Region Parliament and the Kurdistan Region Government should assume their duties and responsibilities. They should realize that these attacks aim to weaken the sovereignty of the South Kurdistan Region. All Kurdish people should know that the invasion attacks are carried out under the pretext of fighting the PKK. The Turkish state wants to violate the sovereignty of South Kurdistan. The Turkish state cuts down trees mostly in Avaşin, Metina and Garê. It does so wherever it has occupied and establishes military bases there. They use trees to build their military bases and to trade,” Zêbarî concluded.