Trustee has hot spring demolished for fear of the PKK

Van’s Erciş district governor and trustee for municipality had the famous hot spring Hasanabdal destroyed because "PKK fighters were hiding there".

Van’s Erciş district governor and state-appointed trustee for the district municipality, Mehmet Şirin Yaşar, had the hot spring in the Zilan region destroyed, which used to be a highly cherished health resort frequented by thousands of people each season.

The hot spring that was demolished based on the claim that "PKK fighters were hiding there", was the only one in the entire Van region. In particular residents of Van city, but also people from Hakkari, Bitlis, Muş, Siirt and Amed and many other cities frequented the hot spring Hasanabdal for medical reasons.

Erciş district governor Mehmet Şirin Yaşar, who was appointed trustee to the Erciş Municipality, caused especially the inhabitants of Erciş as well as the whole population of that region widespread dissatisfaction due to his practices. The first step Yaşar took as soon as he occupied the Municipality was to put a halt to all services offered to women, children and the youth. He had also several multilingual street signs throughout the whole region removed.

The trustee appointed Van security deputy director Murat Hoş, who had served as security director in Erciş, his personal assistant and granted him all the authority in the municipality. Murat Hoş who is well known for countless rights violations and torture cases he was involved in.


The list of the practices of trustee Yaşar is long. In January the hot spring Hasanabdal was totally demolished by the Gendarmie at the behest of the trustee because of the Turkish state's fear of the PKK. The Hasanabdal hot spring had been built by local inhabitants in 1950. For years the people living in the region would take to the hot spring in every season in a bid to find some rest and recuperation. But now only piles of rubble are left of what was once a vivid hot spring. With the destruction of this spring, trustee Yaşar deprived the local people of their source of income and only health resort they had, attracting a lot of criticism. Hundreds of people who are unaware of the demolition of the hot spring are still betaking themselves to Erciş to pay a visit to the watering place. On hearing that it exists no more, they turn back in disappointment.


A six-person family from Hakkari, who came to Van to visit the hot spring, expressed their reaction to its destruction. The family who used to come to the spring resort each year remarked that the Turkish state was shelling the mountains with bombs, burning down entire forests and is now demolishing hot springs. The citizens from Hakkari noted that the state was plundering the properties of the people at the hands of its trustees and continued:

"It is more than evident that the Turkish state's fear of the PKK is gigantic to the point of tearing down hot springs. This also shows that they do not know anymore what to do in the region. If they were not this much desperate, they would not have destroyed this hot spring that is the people's health resort. In order to visit a recuperative spring we are now forced to go to another place, but this is difficult for us. Our financial situation does not allow that. The aim of the state is to displace the people but they will not succeed. What they destroy, we will rebuild again. They cannot succeed by demolishing and setting fire to our lands. This only proves that they have become this much desperate to resort to suchlike practices. At the very end, the cruel will get defeated on these lands."