Rîhan Temo: War policies cause ecological destruction

This interview with Rîhan Temo, representative of Kongra Star’s Ecology Committee in North and East Syria was carried out by Roj Hozan and published by Jinha Women’s News Agency on 16 February, 2023

Pointing out that the war policies of the ruling powers cause ecological destruction, Rîhan Temo, Spokesperson of the Ecology Committee of Kongra Star, said that despite warnings for earthquakes, the Turkish state did not ensure the safety of the people

Today, wrong policies cause devastating natural disasters. The use of chemical weapons, the construction of dams, cutting down trees, wildfires and the use of many chemicals cause irreversible damage to nature. Humanity has been suffering from many natural disasters such as earthquakes and floods and these disasters kill people and cause great destruction. Two major earthquakes that occurred in the Pazarcık and Elbistan districts of Maraş on February 6, 2023 have killed and injured tens of thousands of people in Turkey, Kurdistan and Syria. Many cities in Syria and in North and East Syria such as Afrin and Aleppo have been badly affected by the earthquakes. The earthquake death toll keeps rising in Turkey, Kurdistan and Syria. NuJINHA spoke to Rîhan Temo, Spokesperson of the Ecology Committee of Kongra Star, about how wrong policies can cause ecological destruction and natural disasters.

‘Turkey is a country suffering from disasters’

Noting that earthquakes are natural disasters, Rîhan Temo said, “However, these disasters are caused by humans. Therefore, when we talk about natural disasters, we should first talk about the effects of the system, mentality and politics that have existed in regions for hundreds of years. This system uses nature for its own interests by using all its means and methods. Turkey is a country suffering from many natural disasters. The earthquakes that occurred in Turkey and Bakûrê Kurdistan have badly affected Syria and Aleppo’s Sheikh Maqsoud and Ashrafieh neighborhoods.”

‘The Turkish state allocates its budget to war’

Pointing to the wrong policies against nature of the states, Rîhan Temo said, “Every government must first protect people. However, the current governments, particularly the AKP government and international systems unfortunately use all their means to occupy other countries. The Turkish state allocates its budget to war in order to attack its neighboring countries. For this reason, it does not have the budget to protect the people in the country against disasters.”

‘Humans destroy nature’

“Humans destroy nature,” Rîhan Temo said, “We can say that the systems of the sovereign powers are the premier responsible for these disasters. Leader Apo (Abdullah Öcalan) says, ‘Natural disasters are the result of the deterioration of the balance of nature, due to the use of technology by people according to their own interests.’ If the balance of nature is changed, people will face more deadly natural disasters.”

‘The Turkish state ignored the warning’

Speaking about the use of chemical weapons by the Turkish state in Kurdistan, Rîhan Temo said, “The use of chemical weapons causes irreversible negative effects in nature. The effects of chemical weapons last for years. It also affects weather and climate. Nature does not accept these practices against itself and shows its anger with natural disasters. However, the states still ignore this. Several days before the deadly earthquake in Maraş, a scientist warned the Turkish government about a possible earthquake in the country. However, the Turkish state ignored this warning. We know that Turkey suffered many earthquakes before. Earthquake safe buildings could have been built in Turkey; however, they have not been built. Nature also has a soul and everyone should know this. If we protect nature, nature will protect us. Earthquake safe buildings must be built under the control of municipalities and audit offices.”

Unfortunately the video below does not contain English subtitles.