A common struggle for nature: From Gülpınar to Ikizdere

Vahap Işıklı, co-spokesperson of the Hewsel Protection Platform, said: “We stand with the villagers in struggle from Van Gülpınar to Ikizdere. Nature is a common good and our struggle is common.”

Hewsel Protection Platform co-spokesperson, Vahap Işıklı, said that the struggle against destruction of nature should be universal and underlined the importance of standing side by side to build that "new world is possible" so dreamed of.

In the Kurdish lands, where war continues, nature is being slaughtered as well. Forest areas are being destroyed with chemical weapons and bombs with high destructive power, used to implement deepened war policies. Since the state of emergency, in particular, as the government built military posts on the hills, trees are plundered both in the construction area and around it. In addition, the dams built for "security" reasons constitute a major pillar of the destruction of nature. The dams built in Kurdistan allegedly to increase energy production make up 40 percent of the dams in Turkey.

Speaking to ANF, Hewsel Protection Platform co-spokesperson and Mesopotamia Ecology activist Vahap Işıklı said: “The plunder of nature in the region is not slowing down. The Hydro Electric Power Projects (HEPP) to be built in Zîlan Stream and Sarim Stream, will mean that a large part of the living areas of the region will be flooded. We have witnessed tree cutting on Mount Cudi for a year. When we consider tree cuts together with forest fires, we saw that these areas have been heavily destroyed. It is stated that 400 tons of trees have been cut. This reveals a grim picture. Moreover, the plunder and damage of lands adversely affect all living creatures, causing diseases to occur and multiply.”

Işıklı drew attention to the fact that the stagnation caused by the economic crisis has increased the plunder of nature and added that the struggle against this destruction should be a common one. Reminding that the cities of Kurdistan are on the agenda with the destruction of nature, Işıklı cited the marble quarry imposed on the village of Şêxan in Van/Gürpınar as the best example of this. He said: “Just as a voice can be heard for a tree in the Amazons and for fish that die in the Marmara Sea, one should also speak up against the plunder of nature in Kurdish provinces. If the people in the region are not heard, there will be more plunder. Although 400 tons of trees can be cut down in Cudi a day, this disaster hardly hits the agenda. Authorities have not made a single statement regarding the causes of fish deaths because of HEPPs. The fight against the climate crisis, which is of universal importance in terms of its consequences, needs to be a common struggle. We stand by the villagers who struggle from Van Gürpınar to Ikizdere. Our nature is a common good and our struggle is also common."