There are recent reports coming from Turkey’s Kurdish-majority province of Diyarbakır (Amed) that work has begun in an an area near the city, fencing and enclosing an area marked for a memorial forest to be named after a political figure who has lead the campaigns denying the Kurdish identity and who is a radical supporter of state violence as the only method to address the Kurdish question.
The videos released by Mezopotamya Agency have revealed that poles have already been erected for fencing, while the work of digging the soil for planting tree saplings continue.
The political administration of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is reportedly planning to name the memorial forest, after Devlet Bahçeli, the leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP). through a government trustee, appointed as a local administrator after the democratically elected mayor was dismissed and imprisoned,
The allotted area is in the region known as Mount Kırklar, near the banks of the river Tigris.
While representatives of various NGOs in Diyarbakır had gathered for a protest earlier in January, Mithat Sancar, the co-chair of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, (HDP) voiced strong criticism, saying it is a ‘reckless attack against the language, culture and honour of Diyarbakır’s residents.’
Gülistan Atasoy, the co-chair of HDP’s Diyarbakır branch, had also criticised the project, saying that the administration’s move constituted ‘a part of its special warfare’, and ‘an attempt to destroy the cultural identity and history of the city.’
The MHP is not only an ardent supporter of denying and suppressing all democratic and cultural rights of the Kurdish people by sheer force, but also has always played a unique role throughout the entire political history of Turkey in backing the state security forces in crushing student and labour movements aimed at democratisation and social equality.