Three million trees cut down due to Turkish military operations in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, according to Kurdistan Greens. The environment has been destroyed they said in a statement.https://t.co/ZSewvdRsnR pic.twitter.com/MrQMkyxCYD
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Cengiz Holding, an energy and mining-focused conglomerate with close ties to the Turkish government, has felled ancient forests in Iraqi Kurdistan with the aid of the Turkish military, Kurdistan Greens chairman Malko Baziyani told Roj News in an interview. A total of approx three million trees have been cut down, according to the Greens.
The lumber is used for furniture, which is sold in the Kurdistan region, Baziyani said. “If this process continues, there will be no trees left. The region will be turned into a desert.”
Turkey’s most recent military operation into Iraqi Kurdistan started on 17 April. Cengiz Holding was commissioned by the military for logging in the operation grounds, opening clearings for Turkish troops.
“According to statistics our members have kept, some three million trees have been felled. Wild animals have been forced to flee, and many have perished. Others have been taken to Turkey. The environment has been destroyed,” Baziyani said.
“Those were ancient forests, untouched for centuries. There were 200-year-old trees there,” he said.
The Green Party of Kurdistan has pressed charges against Turkey at the United Nations headquarters in Sulaymaniyah for damaging Kurdistan’s environment. They have also presented documents to international environmental organisations.
The party has called for action against the environmental destruction, but regional officials have yet to give them an answer.
“The Kurdistan Regional Government has remained silent, but so have the central Iraqi government and the United Nations,” Baziyani said.