A protest march was organised on Friday by young people in response to the forest fires on Mount Cudi, which are alleged to have been started by Turkish soldiers. The march, led by the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Urfa Youth Assembly, was held under the slogan “Çiyayê Cudî dişewitînin deng bidin” (Cudi is on fire! Make your voice heard!).
HDP Urfa Youth Assembly member Senem Eriş spoke at the march, stating that there has been a war against the nature of Kurdistan for years. She criticised the Turkish authorities for their alleged inaction and obstruction of efforts to combat the fires. Eriş emphasised that the Justice and Development Party (AKP)-Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) government’s actions are not merely an assault on nature but an attempt to depopulate the Kurdistan countryside.
The youth marched after the statement, with local citizens showing their solidarity through whistles and applause.
A video had surfaced on social media on Friday, lending credence to allegations that Turkish soldiers deliberately started the fire on Mount Cudi, located in Turkey’s southeast. The Forestry Ministry, however, refutes the reports of a fire in the area.
The video, allegedly filmed by the soldiers themselves, shows one troop pointing towards Mount Cudi and the neighbouring Besta region, engulfed in flames, stating, “This is Besta’s final state. This is the Kurds.” Another soldier is heard saying, “Operation accomplished.” The exact date of the video’s recording remains undisclosed.