Ecology Union: The state and DEDAŞ are responsible for the fires

Drawing attention to the fire in Kurdistan, the Ecology Union stated that the lack of timely intervention led to a disaster and denounced the failures of the state and DEDAŞ.

The Ecology Union made a written statement regarding the deadly field fire between Çinar (Xana Axpar) district of Amed (Diyarbakır) and Şemrex (Mazıdağı) district of Mardin, in which 11 people are said to have lost their lives and 44 people injured, 10 of them seriously. The statement said that fire brigades and fire extinguishing teams from neighbouring provinces and districts and the people intervened in the fire by their own means throughout the night, and added: "The request of the co-mayor of the district municipality for a fire extinguishing helicopter from the district governor's office was not met on the grounds that 'the helicopters do not have night vision'. The failure to intervene from the air in a timely manner caused the fire to turn into a major disaster in a very short time."

Emphasising that the fire was caused by electric cables, the statement said the following: "DEDAŞ, the electricity energy supplier in the region, has a hegemony on the people of the region due to service deficiencies such as continuous power cuts, high voltage problems, lack of renewal of electricity infrastructure and neglect of the supervision of these services by the state. While the governorate said it was a stubble fire, the villagers, the first witnesses of the fire, spoke of DEDAŞ's negligence, saying, ‘We will go to court and testify if necessary.’ This negligence, which has already caused many fires before as a result of the poles being made of wood and therefore not standing firmly on the ground and possible contact with each other due to the expansion of the electric wires in the summer months, is not acceptable."

Remarking that the authorised institutions remained silent to the demand for effective intervention, the statement continued: “Reports from the ground mention 11 dead and 16 people with serious injuries. We are also concerned about the increase in casualties. In addition to people, animals and natural life were affected by the fire, which spread to settlements, and the livelihoods of the villagers were damaged and destroyed. Despite the recurring fires in the summer months every year as we see the deepening effects of the climate crisis, the fires turn into major disasters due to the fact that state institutions do not take the necessary precautions, that there is no effective intervention policy, and that there are still not enough night-vision helicopters and fully equipped fire-fighting aircraft for aerial extinguishing. As the fire-affected region is still in need of support, we call on all relevant institutions, health workers, the people of the region and veterinarians to support the animals damaged by the fire."