Press Conference on Dersim forest fires in the EP

Forest fires started in Dersim and various other spots in Northern Kurdistan by the Turkish state were discussed in the European Parliament (EP) under the title, “Forest fires in the Kurdish regions of Turkey”.

Former Co-chair of the Greens Group in the EP Rebeca Harms, Miguel Urbán Crespo for the European United Left and Costas Mavrides from the Socialist Group organized the press conference to which HDP Europe Representative Eyup Doru was invited as a speaker.

Doru said: “Forest fires caused by military bombardment ordered by the Turkish government have started again. The Turkish state is implementing a policy of ‘burning to the ground’ once again, like they did in the past. These forest fires are a result of this policy.

Nine of our deputies, including the spokesman for our parliamentary group went on the scene to take part in a rescue action along with the local civilian population to limit the spread of fires but the police prevented them from to access the places.

This severe situation is not reported on by the press in Turkey, or international press. But the EU and the EP, and other European institutions, should not have been silent on this matter. Our expectation is that they investigate the issue and relay to the Turkish government the necessary reaction.”


Miguel Urbán Crepo said the Turkish officials are employing a “policy of punishment” to stop the success of the Kurds: “We strongly condemn this and expect the EU and the EP to react as institutions.”

Urbán Crespo added: “There is already a general violation of human rights, the freedom of expression and freedom of press have been trampled, and it is our most natural right to expect the EU to react to that.”


Urbán Crespo continued:

“The EP must issue a statement. All accession and adaptation funds must be suspended, all financial aid must be suspended, and if there is financial aid to be given it must be given to advance human rights and acknowledge the political rights of the Kurdish people. Until Erdoğan’s systemic rights violations and what they have been doing to the Kurdish people stop, the relationship with Turkey must be limited to only this level.”


“We as the European United Left won’t let this issue go,” said Crespo and added: “We will ask the other parties in the EP to also put forth a clear stance on this matter. The Greens Group has awareness of this issue, but we must ask the EP rapporteur and the Socialist Group to more actively dwell on it.”

Eyup Doru answered questions and said the EU and member states should not give unconditional credit to Turkey regarding the refugee issue and added: “They must put forth a concrete stance for a general democratisation of Turkey .”