The forest fires which erupted on 25 June in the Süvêran region of Turkey’s eastern province of Bingöl (Çewlig) have spread rapidly. Twenty residential areas have been reportedly affected in the villages of Güzeldere (Gaz), Dedebağı (Şexismal) and Çamlıyurt (Xodan) by the uncontrolled fires.
“It is obvious that the forest fires that have turned into a massive disaster in our country are caused for the sake of mining construction in the Aegean, Meditarrenean and Marmara and for the sake of the security policies in the East and Southeast regions. With these forest fires, the region has become one that is unlivable in,” stated lawyers from the Bingöl Bar Association on Sunday in a written statement.
There has been no official statement regarding the cause of the fires, but local residents state that it is not a coincidence that the starting point of the blaze was very close to the Süvêran outpost and it might have broken out due to the fire that was lit from the outpost by the soldiers, MA reports.
Whilst there is a serious risk of the fires spreading to the surrounding villages, local residents criticise the late and inadequate response to the fire by the authorities. The forest fires now threaten the lives and properties of many Kurdish citizens living across Süvêran region as well as the local ecology and wildlife in the region, MA reports.
The precise toll on wildlife remains unknown, but the devastating fires are known to have already killed or harmed turtles, hedgehogs, partridges, rabbits and all other animals that were known to be living across the Koyê Spi district, which has been engulfed by the fires.