Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Co-Chairs Pervin Buldan and Mithat Sancar issued a statement about the recent fires that broke out in the city of Hatay in Turkey.
They said: “Any assault against nature is as grave a crime as an assault carried out against humanity. Whoever committed this crime, we condemn all assaults against nature”.
They criticised prevailing policies and practices: “The attitude of those in power towards nature and ecosystems is most troubling: the fire fighting aircraft sold by questionable tender; tens of hectares of forests burned on the pretext of security; the fires which were purposefully allowed to continue for days, even weeks, that have destroyed the living quarters of residents; the fires which were lit intentionally to gain profit for the construction industry, as well as the fires which were lit to open areas to mining interests”.
They also added that they did not forget “the way hotels and villas, mines and stone pits were constructed following the fires, or the mindset of those who were sacrificing the future to gain unearned profit”.
What happened in Hatay?
A fire broke out in the Belen district of Hatay, Turkey, on 9 October. It spread across several places near the city into its second day.
One fire fighter suffered from inhalation of smoke and seventy people were affected by the fire.
The fire began to affect human settlement areas and spread to the Arsuz and İskenderun districts of the city.
Attempts to extinguish the fire were hindered due to strong winds and a part of Belen-İskenderun highway had been closed due to the fire.
Eighteen houses, fourteen workplaces, eight factories, four vehicles, three storehouses, thirty five bee hives and seventy people were reportedly affected by the fire. The fire was brought under control after two days.