In a campaign of deforestation, Turkey steals Iraqi Kurdistan’s trees

Iraqi Kurdistan
A photo taken in May 2021, in Sindy, a border area in Zakho district in Duhok, northern Iraq (MP Hevidar Ahmed/Zakho district)

Along with targeting Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Iraqi Kurdistan, Turkey’s army leads a deforestation campaign aimed at constructing roads for Turkish military outposts and economic gains. Kurdistan’s trees

According to MEE, this isn’t new, Turkey has been doing this for nearly 10 years, but slowly and gradually.

Over the past week, reports of Turkey’s logging in Duhok province have been circulating on social media, with people condemning it and calling on the Turkish army to stop the campaign.

The news was first reported by Ali Hama Salih, an MP in the Kurdish region’s parliament, who posted footage and pictures of fallen trees and burnt forests, MEE reported.

“The Turkish army has crossed the border by 50km to build roads in order to clear out paths and link military posts built there,” Salih told MEE.

The areas are located along the Turkish border, where nearly 100 villages have been evacuated due to clashes between PKK and Turkish soldiers as well as bombardments. Kurdistan’s trees

MEE quoting the chief of Nizur village, Turkey transports the wood for commercial purposes.

“I have seen with my own eyes that the trees were taken to be sold. In Turkey they are being taken to factories and turned into furniture. They are also used for other purposes such as for cooking in restaurants,” he said. Turkey 

This is not the first time Turkey has been being accused of “stealing” precious and indigenous trees while destroying the environment.

In 2019, locals in Afrin, a town in northern Syria, accused Turkey of “stealing” the town’s olive trees. Afrin was subject to a Turkish military operation against the People’s Protection Units (PYD), an offshoot of the PKK in Syria.

Turkey said in a statement that it showed “maximum sensitivity and attention” to civilians, to the environment as well as to historical and cultural sites during their operations.

However, due to its recent operations, five villages have been evacuated. Kurdistan’s trees

Source: Middle East Eye
image Source: MP Hevidar Ahmed/MEE