"Don't leave a single tree standing"

The destruction of forests in the Kurdish province of Şırnak continues. Soldiers order village guards, "Don't leave a single tree standing."

For months, forest areas in the Kurdish province of Şırnak have been systematically cut down. Other large-forested areas are being destroyed by forest fires. The destruction of the region's nature is taking place under the supervision of the army and continues to spread every day.

Since the beginning of spring, so-called village guards (local paramilitaries working for the state) began to cut down trees in the Besta region and on Mount Namaz. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of trees have been uprooted in the areas of Sêrê Rû, Şerewan, Kaniya Hilo, Dola Hevran, Berûze, Quntarên Navyan, Rîsor, Girêhelizê and Darikarû.

Camera traps and observation towers

The profit from the sale of the wood is secondary; the main concern is military control of the resistance region. While the wood is loaded onto trucks for sale and transported to various towns, military access routes are created in the former forest areas and camera traps as well as observation posts are set up.

Announcements from helicopters

The operations are accompanied from the air by military helicopters. A new clearing area will be established in Kaniya Mîra. From the helicopters, village guards from Sêgirkê (Şenoba) are incited by soldiers through loudspeakers: "Don't leave a tree."

"We are clearing here by order of the state"

People from the local population who protest against the destruction of their land get the answer from the village guards: "We are clearing here by order of the state." The village guards work from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., systematically destroying the forest areas so that, according to local people, not a single tree can provide shade.