A rally against the politics of the forest fires in Kurdistan took place in Berlin on Thursday. Among other things, the activists showed pictures of the destruction in Dersim. At the rally, Müslüm Karadaş from the Dersim Community said the forest fires in the northern Kurdish region had political causes. He called for the fires to be investigated by independent delegations and for their findings to be made public.
Irfan Keskin from the Dersim Reconstruction Congress stated, "The fires in western Turkey are set for profit, but the fires in Kurdistan, in Dersim, Bitlis and Bingöl, the dams and destruction of nature as in Hasankeyf are state policy. They are directed against the Kurdish people!"
A statement on behalf of the Alliance of Democratic Forces in Europe-Berlin also referred to the history of the Dersim region, marked by massacres, genocide and resistance, and placed the forest fires in this context.
Hüseyin Yılmaz, co-chair of the Kurdish association Nav-Berlin, stated, "Throughout Kurdistan, especially in Dersim, the state is murdering people and animals through fires and the natural life is meant to be destroyed by fire. However, our people, especially the people of Dersim, are bravely resisting these attacks. Therefore, there should be a joint response to this attack in the four parts of Kurdistan."
Forest fires as a weapon of war
Fierce forest fires are raging in the northern Kurdish provinces of Dersim, Bitlis, Bingöl, Şirnak and Hakkari. While forest fires in Turkish regions receive the greatest attention, firefighters and the population in Kurdistan are repeatedly prevented from extinguishing them. The military is often behind the fires, pursuing a scorched earth policy to destroy movement area for the guerrillas and drive out the population.