What the Turkish army left behind in Zap

After the Turkish army's hasty partial withdrawal from the Zap region, their positions stand abandoned.

On 25 December, the People's Defence Forces (HPG) announced that the Turkish army had withdrawn from large parts of the Zap region in southern Kurdistan. Before that, the guerrillas had overrun one position after the other with revolutionary operations, so that the army was left only with a hasty retreat.

ANF correspondents in the fighting area visited the cleared positions of the Turkish army in December and collected impressions. The destruction in the Zap region caused by bombardments and fighting is visible practically everywhere. When you visit the region, the first thing you notice are the craters and devastation caused by the heavy bombardment.

On our journey along the goat paths, we encounter traces of war at almost every turn. Besides the destruction caused by bombs weighing tons, one can also come across the splinters left behind by these munitions.

After a short walk from the guerrilla positions, we finally arrive at the positions left behind by the Turkish army. The first thing we see are the dugouts and fortifications, which were left as they were. The retreat was so sudden that all the soldiers could do was slash the tents and the sandbags.

In the areas where the Turkish army was stationed, the camps are visible almost untouched. The soldiers' shelters and the location of the rubbish dump right next to them stand out. This shows the panic the Turkish army was in. Rubbish was dumped right next to the positions. The area was surrounded with NATO wire and traps were set up in front of and behind the fences.

Also noticeable are the fireplaces where the soldiers burned incriminating materials shortly before their retreat. Large fires were lit next to almost all the dugouts and inside the camp. The sight of the positions is not without a certain irony. For example, pictures and slogans glorifying the army and Turkish fascism were left on rocks. But in the same place, traps and mannequins were set up to hide from the guerrillas, and dummy cameras made of PET bottles were placed to fool the guerrillas.