Şırnak / Şirnex‎

Şırnak (Şirnex‎) is a town in southeastern Turkey / North Kurdistan, the capital of Şırnak Province. The settlement was originally called Şehr-i Nuh (City of Noah) since it was near Cudi Mountain where Noah’s Ark finally believed to have landed after the Flood.

In Şırnak, agriculture, animal husbandry and border trade form the backbone of economic life. Wheat, barley and lentil are the main crops. Cotton is grown as an industrial crop. Cizre and Silopi raise high quality pomegranate and grape. Animal husbandry is practiced by nomadic people. They mainly breed sheep and various types of goats (ordinary goat, Angora goat, and brown haired goat specific to the area). Traditional handicrafts consist of carpet, kilim and bag weaving. Şırnak scarves are woven out of sheep and goat wool. Beytüşşebap is well known for its kilims. Nevertheless, Sirnak province is the poorest province of Turkey in terms of per capita income. Its per capita income comes around to around 700 USD, which is similar to that of many sub-Saharan African countries. But in the future, Şırnak has the potential to flourish from meat processing, leather industries and asphalt mining, which has an estimated reserve of 29 million tons.

The Habur border gate with Iraq which is one of Turkey’s main links to Arab countries is also on Şırnak.

On 18 August 1992, fighting broke out between Turkish security forces and Kurdish separatists of the PKK. 20,000 out of 25,000 residents fled the city during the three days of fighting. While the town was under bombardment, there was no way to get an account of what was happening in the region as journalists were prevented from entering the city centre which was completely burned down by the security forces. Şırnak was under fire for three days and tanks and cannons were used to hit buildings occupied by civilians.

On 13 March 2016 military operations by Turkish security forces began against PKK. The military curfew imposed on the Kurdish city was lifted after 246 days. Neighbourhoods like Gazipasha, Yeshilyurt, Ismetpasha, Dicle, Cumhuriyet and Bahçelievler were completely destroyed in the war.

The population of Şırnak province is 430,424 (2009 census) living in an area extending over 7,172 square kilometers.

‘We should stop ecological plunder’

“We should stop ecological plunder,” said Halime Şaman, a volunteer at the Muğla Environmental Platform, calling for a united struggle against ecological plunder in Türkiye and Kurdistan.

Flashback 2023: Environmental devastation continues to unfold

Environmental degradation continues to plague Turkey in 2023, as forests are sacrificed for mining ventures, water resources are exploited, and major destruction is wrought in Kurdish regions.

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In the context of Kurdistan, ecocide is launched not only for looting resources, but also for the sake of destruction of any kind of resistance, in ignorance of the complexity of relations of different life forms that make life itself possible.

State’s ecological apparatus: An interview with Zozan Pehlivan

In the summer of 2023, Mount Cudi is once again the site of significant wildfires, marking a recurring environmental challenge that has profound implications for the region which is an important part of the Kurdish geography. This event brings to the forefront an interview with Zozan Pehlivan, an environmental historian of the modern Middle East, the Ottoman Empire, and Ottoman Kurdistan, conducted in 2020, now translated into English by MedyaNews, that explores the intricate connections between ecology, economy, and history in Turkey, Kurdistan and beyond.

Kurdish farmers’ tradition of collective harvesting with sickles and song stands the test of time

Kurdish Farmers in Şırnak follow tradition and sing 'stran' in chorus and harvest in harmony.