The Green Left Party has taken a stand against extensive tree felling in south-eastern Turkey’s Geliyê Godernê region and brought the matter to the Turkish parliament on Wednesday.
Geliyê Godernê is known for its ecological, historical, and natural significance, and lies within a triangle formed by the districts of Kulp (Pasur), Lice (Licê), and Silvan (Farqîn) in the Kurdish-majority province of Diyarbakır (Amed).
Green Left’s Diyarbakır MP Ceylan Akça highlighted damage caused by the tree cutting in a parliamentary question submitted to Agriculture and Forestry Minister İbrahim Yumaklı. Akça asked who had authorised the cutting, the purpose behind it, and the public interest served by such irreversible ecological destruction.
The move has applied further pressure on the Turkish government’s forestry policy over the impact of such practices on the region’s ecosystems.
Deforestation in Kurdish regions previously gained attention as reports revealed an alarming lack of viable forests in Kurdish cities. The Turkish Forest Ministry’s 2018 report indicated that cities including Ağrı (Agirî), Iğdır (Îdir), Van (Wan), Mardin (Mêrdîn), Kars (Qers), Hakkari (Colemêrg), and Diyarbakır (Amed) have a minimal percentage of forest coverage compared to the rest of the country.
The deforestation issue is not limited to Turkey’s borders. Reports of extensive logging in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq have triggered public outcry. The logging, carried out by village guards affiliated with Turkey, was allegedly aimed at constructing new checkpoints and roads but Kurdish officials and locals accused Turkey of causing significant environmental damage. In addition, forest fires reportedly ignited during Turkish bombardments of the region, destroying thousands of acres of forestry.