Masses march to Mount Cudi to protest destruction of nature

Hundreds of ecologists, artists, intellectuals, politicians and local people marched to Mount Cudi against the forest fires and deforestation raging in the region.

Political party representatives and non-governmental organizations came together in the Balveren town of Şırnak against the forest fire that has been going on for a week on Mount Cudi, the destruction of nature on the border and the invasion operations that have been going on since April 23. Democratic Society Congress (DTK) co-chair Berdan Öztürk, Democratic Regions Party (DBP) co-chairs Keskin Bayındır and Saliha Aydeniz, HDP MPs, Peace Mothers Council members, KESK Şırnak Branches Platform members, ecologists and hundreds of locals participated the event in the town.

Speaking after the march from the town to the foothills of Mount Cudi, HDP Adana Deputy Tülay Hatimoğulları said that there was a serious economic crisis and the reason for this was the plunder of nature.

Hatimoğulları emphasized that the system established by the AKP-MHP government is based on rent and plunder. “They used to all kinds of means and methods to exploit the nature, mountains and soil. In the Aegean, Black Sea, and Amanos mountains, licenses are easily issued for mining. They are plundering everything in nature. A tree cut in Cudi affects the Aegean and the Black Sea.”


Hatimoğulları pointed out that people will not be able to breathe if nature is not protected. “The reasons for the destruction of forests in Kurdistan are completely different. Turkey established military outposts at the foothills of Mount Cudi. Nature is destroyed for full surveillance for the military. The problem cannot be restricted to the region. Destruction of nature in one region concerns the whole world.”


“You (the government) are creating an uninhabitable geography and you insist on this. Mount Cudi is ours. Like the Aegean, the Black Sea, these are our lands. We will continue to respond to all of them. The real problem is peace. We are tired of deaths and bloodshed. This land is tired of violence. If this plunder continues, there will be wars for water. We will continue to fight for peace.”


DTK co-chair Berdan Öztürk emphasized that a dirty war is being waged and continued, “They are plundering our nature. It is nature that is damaged the most in this war. With these attacks on nature, they make these areas available for rent. Not only the nature of Kurdistan, but also the nature of Turkey is facing serious plunder.”

“This nature is not only for the Kurds. By burning and plundering, you are not only destroying the heritage of humanity, but you are also destroying all living creatures in nature. The destruction of nature is a threat to the future of humanity. We do not accept this. Not only the Kurds, but all the peoples of Turkey should raise their voice against environmental destruction.”


Öztürk also drew attention to the isolation imposed on Kurdish Leader Abdullah Öcalan. “If the Kurdish problem is not resolved, the destruction of nature will not end. Every individual living in Turkey must raise voice for the solution of the Kurdish problem. The isolation on PKK Leader Abdullah Öcalan must end and the Kurdish problem must be resolved. Freedom must be promoted, and this environmental destruction must end as soon as possible. The strongest response to this monist and colonial mentality is struggle. Our struggle is not only against the abuses in Kurdistan, but against all injustices in Turkey. Let's fight together against this mentality."

A sit-in was held after the speeches. The event was concluded with local songs and slogans as the delegation moved to the city centre of Şırnak to visit the tradesmen.