Women against fire in Dersim

Groups of women are working to try and extinguish the fires caused by the Turkish army operations in Dersim.

Women are trying to extinguish the fires which have turned tens of thousands of hectares of land in different parts of Dersim into ashes and destroyed millions of lives in the area.

As a result of Turkish army airstrikes and helicopter bombardment on Dersim, in the past three weeks, fires especially in the Geyiksuyu area are continuing to spread. 

Tens of thousands of hectares of green land in various regions have already been burned to ashes. The fires destroyed thousand-years old trees and wildlife. 

The fires, implacable, have already caused millions of living beings to die: pigs, foxes, tortoises, young birds, squirrels, mountain goats, rabbits, reptiles and thousands of insects, butterflies.

Three weeks ago, fires were started by the army in what they have declared "security zones", in the Hozat district, which means that no attempt to put out the fires can be done, and volunteers who tried and do something were stopped at checkpoints set up on the road. 

Fire spreading

Volunteer teams are trying to get the fire at Bali Creek, Bali Hamlet, Müşkirek Village, Copper Mountains and Çırtık Stream under control; but lack of equipment and expertise, has not prevented the fire from growing. 

A group of women trying to control the fire expressed their sadness and anger to the killing of nature.

University student Tijda Kılıç said that a hostile policy towards Dersim and its environment is being carried out.

“The authorities are doing nothing to put out the fire. And volunteers are prevented from trying to extinguish the fire. The real purpose of all this - she said - is to force people out their houses”.

Humanity has been lost

One of the residents of the village of Müşkirek, Birgül Zeytin, said nature is the source of life for people and stressed that the fires are a sign that humanity has been lost.  

“Unfortunately - she said - these fires are not the first, and will not be last. Anyone who loves nature should cry out against those fires. Burning a tree changes a lot of things. We should be aware of this”.

Volunteer Nilufer Akdag also stated that the state burned the forests deliberately. “The Governor says that there are no forest fires in Dersim. I call on him to come here. Come and take a look at this place. Is there any fire or not? Then make a statement”, she said.

Akdag reiterated that there is a massacre going on in Dersim, of nature and living beings. A massacre that everybody should try to prevent. 

She called on women in particular to come to the area and help.