Sewage water from Turkish brigade in Hakkari spreads diseases

Well over one hundred thousand Turkish soldiers are stationed in the province of Hakkari to fight insurgency. The sewage water from the brigade runs untreated into rivers and streams and causes diseases among the population.

The Kurdish province of Hakkari resembles a Turkish military camp. Well over 100,000 soldiers are stationed in the region. The sewage water from the brigade runs untreated into streams and rivers and thus also reaches the fields of the population, who live mainly from agriculture. The Hakkari Mountain Commando Brigade is located about 15 kilometres from the centre of the city. The sewage water from the brigade goes directly into the watercourses from which the population of many districts of Hakkari draws their drinking water. The water is not only used as drinking water but also reaches the fields. Especially the uncovered sewage water area around the brigade gives off a heavy stench and the people in the surrounding area feel massively disturbed. The stench reaches right into the houses of the residents.

Especially for children the dirty water in the rivers and brooks is a threat. In summer, children bathe in these waters and become infected with severe diarrhea and gastrointestinal infections.

Residents protest

The people from the villages along the contaminated waters and the affected residential areas of the city have appealed to the city administration under government-appointed trustee ruling as well as to the military and state authorities dozens of times. No action has been taken though. Despite the diseases and the stench, especially in summer, the sewage system of the brigade is neither covered nor treated.

The environment is being destroyed

A resident of Hakkari, who did not want to be mentioned for security reasons, says: "The sewage water from the brigade has been flowing openly into our villages for months. Where the sewerage system flows along, the environment is polluted. In addition, the Otluca River, from which thousands draw their drinking water, which is also used to irrigate the fields and where many go swimming, is becoming filthy in the worst way. As the Otluca flows through various towns, it also reaches the centre of Hakkari. Then it mixes with the water of the Zap."

Those responsible remain silent

A woman from Hakkari complains: "Our clean environment and our water is polluted by the troops. In summer, everything here stinks and we cannot leave our houses because of the stench. Because of the heat, the children, but also the adults, bathe in the river. This leads to contagious diseases. We've written dozens of complaints, but it's no use."