Munzur Springs destroyed with excavators

The Turkish state uses excavators to destroy the surroundings of the Munzur springs in Dersim, which are a holy place for the Alevi population.

The destruction of the surroundings of the Munzur Springs in Dersim continues. The Turkish state wants to commercialize the area, which is holy for the Alevi religious community, and to demand entrance fees in the future. Excavators are used for the so-called "landscaping", announced the Dersim Investigation Center (Dersim Araştırmalar Merkezi) on Twitter.

The center complains that construction machines are being used despite promises to the contrary from the governor's office: "We regard this incident as an attack on one of our places of worship. We call on those responsible to refrain from this mistake".

The governor's office had previously promised, due to strong protests, that no excavators would be used at the Munzur Springs. For the Alevi population of Dersim, the river and mountain landscape of the Munzur is a symbol for their region, which they consider a unique miracle. Besides the supply of water, fishing and other economic aspects, the Munzur has a "sacred" status in the eyes of the people. For centuries it has had a great historical, cultural and scenic significance.

The Munzur River is directly associated with almost all mythologies, legends and traditions in Dersim. It was named after shepherd Munzur Baba, who, according to a legend, spilled buttermilk in horror at the present spring region near Ovacık district, thus creating the 40 springs of Munzur. They mainly concern an area that was protected by the Turkish state as a national park and where such interventions are actually illegal. The source region is theoretically protected by international conventions that have been ratified by Turkey.