“Fascism tries, through destruction, to invade and subdue the geography of Kurdistan which it sees as a theatre of war. Hostility toward humanity turns into hostility towards nature,” writes Elif Kaya for Özgür Politika.
The lands in Kurdistan have been burning for days. Not only trees, but every single living thing in the forests. Homes of animals, their sources of sustenance are destroyed. Green fields are turned into wastelands with the touch of a burning match, a mortar, a kettle. People lose their habitats, the places which shaped their culture, their history and memories. A memory and value based system created by places is destroyed.
We choke, cannot breathe, as forests are burned down one by one. In Dersim, Besta, Cudî, Pencewîn, Efrîn.
The forests are burned using gas, with dynamite dug and placed within the roots to blow up trees. (…) Nature is subjected to the same violence that they use on people. Whole forests are cut down and turned into wood or logs to be sold as booty.
Fascism tries, through destruction, to invade and subdue the geography of Kurdistan which it sees as a theatre of war. Hostility toward humanity turns into hostility towards nature. Everyone who is struggling – with a love for nature – to fight the fires is considered ‘dangerous’ and ‘to be stopped.’
The destruction of nature has always been a part of the invasion of Kurdistan. People might remember the policy of Doğan Güreş and Tansu Çiller, whose objective was “to dry the sea instead of trying to catch the fish.”
Evacuation of almost 4,000 villages and the forcing of millions of people to leave their homes was the outcome of this policy.
The lands in Kurdistan have been burned, destroyed, turned to wasteland in order to disrupt the guerrillas ties with the people, to make it inefficient.
They tried to suppress the social movement by methods of terror.
In places, houses have been torched and burned down with people and animals inside them. Fields and farms have been burned down, forests turned into bare lands.
Millions of people have been displaced. The relationships between them and the places that helped to build their identities and existence has been the target. They’ve been forced to ‘migrate’ through vital threats to their sources of sustenance, their means of living. But all those calculations did not fit in the dialectics of life.
Kurds have brought their consciousness with them wherever they have moved and have organized themselves to establish new social habitats. They have left behind neither their struggle nor their cultural values. On the contrary, they have turned their suffering into power through a stronger awareness of what was happening to them and through a deeper a perception of their own strength. The resistance has gained momentum.
In short, the forced migration caused the Kurdistan freedom struggle to expand from the rural areas to the cities and to grow in strength, let alone weaken.
So the programmes to return back to their hometowns started within a 5-6 year period; within a relatively short period of time. The migration to the big cities has enhanced the will of the Kurdish people in terms of their organisation, consciousness and agility in the struggle. Fascism would never allow people to return to their homes while fear, anxiety and desperation dominated.
Still, the destruction of nature has never stopped, even though people started to return to their villages in the 2000s. Fascism has always considered eliminating natural places of resistance a major objective.
Absolute domination is forced both upon humans and nature. Nature is punished like every living thing which does not submit. There are attempts for places of resistance to be destroyed alongside social resistance.
And yet the experiences of the Kurdish people show that the destructive policies of fascism can be countered and defeated through resistance, organisation and struggle. Geography is the source of our existence: it’s a part of us. So we have to defend our existence even more furiously.