Military operations and prohibitions in the name of “security zones” in Şırnak in Turkey are adversely affecting agriculture, animal husbandry practices and the habitats of bees which are the main sources of income in the region, MA reports.
Severe environmental impacts of ongoing military operations and prohibitions in Uludere district of Şırnak (Şirnex) along the Iraq-Turkey border are evident.
Due to ongoing operations, many places are restricted and banned from entry every 15 days by a governor’s decision. The people who live in the region are facing difficult times because border trade has been completely banned in recent years. In addition to this, with the bans in place, now they cannot go the highlands to feed their animals, so many are forced to sell them.
The bombs used in the military operations destroy the habitats of the bees as well but since bee keeping is one of the main sources of income, villagers are left on their own with no solution.
Kerim Ölmez is an affected villager. He has been a beekeeper for 15 years in the village of Andaç (Elemûn) but he has become unable to do his job in recent years.
“The bombardments in the operation areas caused bee deaths and the number of bees is decreasing day by day,” he stated, adding: ”For two years, many bees have died due to disease. The medicine don’t help them either. Even the sound of cannons causes bees to die.”
Emin Ölmez is another villager from the region. He is a shepherd along the border but due to operations and prohibitions, he has not been able to graze his animals on the border line for almost four years. “This year, it was allowed just for a very short period of time. But this is not enough for us. There used to be around 300 sheep in every house in our village. This number has declined to 50-60 in the past two years,” he said.
Ölmez stated that they live under constant fear of bombardment in the highlands. “There is great pressure. Despite the pressure, we keep practicing animal husbandry. We want peace, we want this to stop.”