Access to Bertul Valley banned

In the Kurdish regions more and more areas are being declared as so-called special security zones. Especially the Gabar area in Şırnak resembles a security fortress of the village guards. Civilians are not allowed to enter the valley.

The overnor's office of Şırnak has declared further areas in the surroundings of Mount Gabar as so-called special security zones. The inhabitants of the bordering villages are forbidden to enter the affected areas. This means that the wild herbs growing on Mount Gabar, which form the basis of life for many people and animals, can no longer be collected. Also the collective picnic every summer with people from other places of Şırnak, one of the few customs that remained for the inhabitants of the province, which was marked by the dirty war of the Turkish state, can no longer take place. The people are pushed into poverty as well as isolation.

The area affected by the recent ban is the Bertul Valley, which lies behind the Kasrik town. On the road leading to the valley, several checkpoints have been set up by so-called village guards, and surveillance cameras are hanging at higher points. The whole area now resembles a security fortress of paramilitary units who act like "governors" and stand up for the interests of the State.

The inhabitants of the villages are frustrated. On the one hand they complain about the increasing activities of the State to expand the village guard system in Şırnak and other areas in the botanical region. On the other hand they fear existential poverty. Many people earn their living in the spring and summer months by selling regional fruit and vegetables and food produced with wild herbs such as typical Kurdish herbal cheese at stalls and markets. Due to the absence of visitors this source of income is completely lost.