Forestry Directorate claims it cut trees on orders of soldiers

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  • 15:04 6 October 2021
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SIRNAK - Urfa Regional Directorate of Forestry, which filed an objection against the cutting of trees on registered lands in Şırnak, replied to the public, "Soldiers wanted us to cut the trees and we did."
The trees are being cut in Şırnak's Cudi, Gabar and Namaz Mountains, as well as in Çiyayê Bizina and Besta regions for months. Hundreds of thousands of trees have been cut down in forest areas, including lands owned by individuals. The people, who took action against the tree cutting, filed objection petitions with the Governorship of Şırnak and the Provincial Directorate of Agriculture and Forestry. However, the petitions were rejected.
The public sent their petitions this time to the Şanlıurfa Regional Directorate of Forestry, to which Şırnak Provincial Directorate of Agriculture and Forestry is affiliated with. Officials of the Regional Directorate of Forestry, with whom the public had a face-to-face meeting about the application, said: "Soldiers wanted us to cut the trees and we did."
Esref Inan, whose trees were cut in the Çemê Mezin region, went to Urfa and met with the officials of the Regional Forestry Directorate, said that they could not get any results from the application. Indicating that the cutting of the trees has been going on for about two months in Çemê Mezin, İnan said that they will continue their efforts as long as the tree cutting is not stopped.
Inan said that the officials of the Şırnak Provincial Forestry Directorate told them, "What you want is beyond our pay check". Referring to the application they made to the Şanlıurfa Regional Directorate of Forestry, İnan said, "We took our petitions with our property deeds. We told them that our trees were cut without our knowledge. However, the Forestry Directorate rejected our petition and said, "We approved the cutting of trees and we cannot interfere because it is a security zone. Soldiers requested the trees to be cut and we approved. The soldiers in Çemê Mezin said that they would cut down trees that are only in a one-kilometer area. However, now they have not left a single forest area in the entire region."
Stating that the prohibited areas are free to the village guards, İnan continued: "Our lands are forbidden to us. They have become like the mafia. All state institutions are jointly involved in the deforestation of the region. It is our land. We have the property deeds to prove it. We have houses and animals there. If it were allowed, we would go there and settle down. They cut down our trees, take them out of the province and sell them. They cut down centuries-old trees. We demand that the cutting of the trees to be stopped as soon as possible. If there is a fire in the region, they do not allow us to put it out. The trees that survived this process are lost in fires."
MA / Zeynep Durgut

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