Turkish military allegedly set forest fires around Tunceli province

Nobody has intervened to put out forest fires that have allegedly been started by the Turkish military during security operations in Tunceli (Dersim) province, according to reports in the pro-Kurdish media on Thursday.

Tunceli Mayor Fatih Mehmet Maçoğlu also stated on his personal Twitter account on Wednesday that “The mountains of Dersim have been burning for days. Every bird, animal and plant has been burned to death. Nature and animal lovers are now silent because this geography belongs to us! Shame on you! #dersimyanıyor.”

The Fırat news agency (ANF) reported on Thursday that the fires had spread to the Bozan Plateau, Zoğar, Dereköy, Kozulca, Koçkozulca, Zengi, Değirmendere, Dündül, Geyiksuyu and Aliboğazı as well as the areas between the Ovacık, Çemişgezek and Hozat districts, encompassing thousands of hectares.

In a written statement the Munzur Conservation Association (DEDEF), which has not been allowed to intervene to try and extinguish the fires, has issued a call to the public.

“Dersim is surrounded by four mountains, and the four mountains are on fire,” DEDEF said and urged intervention as the fires were spreading rapidly. “The fires are destroying living spaces for both plants and animals.”

DEDEF has also called for a protest at 7:30 pm on Thursday in front of Galatasaray High School in the Beyoglu district of İstanbul to raise public awareness about the fires.

Meanwhile, Turkish fighter jets on Tuesday reportedly shelled mountainous areas of southeastern Anatolia, sparking wildfires in forested areas that continued to spread on Wednesday.

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