As already done in previous years, the Turkish army this year yet again set ablaze vast areas of forests and agricultural land within the Turkish borders. It is their feeble attempt to burn the woods that supposedly provide cover for the guerilla and to terrorize the local population to drive them away by destroying their livelihoods and make them afraid to support the guerilla.
This strategy is used by the Turkish army for several years now. Always – very “conveniently” – big fires break out in the areas the guerillas operate in. Most notably, this year huge fires broke out in the forested mountains close to Tunceli two weeks ago – only days after the firefight between the Tikko and the Turkish army took place there.
Although the Turkish army never claims direct responsibility for these fires, the causes for these fires are usuallyairstrikes, artillery bombardment or military commands directly torching the forest and agricultural lands of the peasants. And while the Turkish government was quick to offer aid to the Greek government when the woods around Athens burned, now there are supposedly no resources (like firefighting planes) available now to stop the fire in Dersim. And not only that: The Turkish army even prohibited and hindered volunteers for extinguishing these fires that directly threaten the lives of many people (not to mention the unique flora and fauna) of the area.