Ecologists protest against fires in Dersim

The Turkish army has set Dersim forests on fire and did nothing to extinguish them.

Trees and forests are burning in Dersim. 

The Turkish army has never cared about the environment and its people, and indeed since the ’80-’90’s huge amounts of lands have been destroyed in the name of ‘security’.

Of course from burning forests and lands to burning out villagers from they houses, the step has been short. 

A practice, that of emptying villages in Kurdistan by burning down them, which has continued on a smaller or larger scale until today. 

These days it is Dersim and its beautiful nature to burn down.

Again the Turkish army is responsible for these fires. Again in the name of ‘security’ which really means, destroying a natural habitat, expelling citizens, killing people. 

Ecologists in Dersim, who say "Our nature is our sacredness”, have reacted against the fires saying that if they are not extinguished soon, people will be forced to move out from their villages. 

“Without an intervention from the air, people will have to leave their villages, there will be no living spaces, people will have to migrate”.

The forest fires are the result of Turkish military operations in Dersim. They are spreading by the day while authorities avoid intervening. As a result, the efforts of volunteers and local people proved useless. 

Ali Reza Bilir, member of the Dersim Associations Federation (DEDEF), noted that the once again, as it happens every year, forests are being burned.

Bilir said that forest fires last year started in August. This year - he said - not coincidentally they started in the same period. Burning forests, he added, is an intimidating action for people.  

Sacred places are burning

Underlining that forest fires are part of the intimidation policy, Bilir said: “The burning forests are our lungs. They want to ruin our ecosystem. But they will not succeed. For years, our forests have been burned, yet this policy has given no results. And they won’t. We have holy places in the regions and they are trying to destroy them. People of these lands, will not bow, no matter what”.

We say enough! 

Member of the Dersim Ecology Council, Meral Uc, said that burning places are sacred, and that every year, dozens of hectares of land are turned into ash. 

"Enough is enough" Uc said, recalling the fact that volunteers have problems extinguishing the fires because they started in difficult to reach places. 

“Without an intervention via air, the fires will soon reach the houses and people will be forced out from their villages. People's living spaces will disappear. People will have to migrate”, she said.

Nature is the basis of our belief

"The task of the state is not to burn the forests but to protect them. - said Kenan Yigit, member of Let Munzur Flow Free  Initiative- The world should not remain silent. Nature is sacred in Alevism. We take our faith from nature. We respect everything in nature. Nature is the foundation of our belief. It is the intolerance towards our beliefs that actually prompts these fires”.