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.
Züleyhan Sezgin is a farmer working in the Hevsel Gardens. “Our incomes don’t meet our expenses due to the increasing price hikes. We could plant vegetables only in a field because we couldn’t buy fertilizer,” she says.
it needs to be stated that in almost half of Sur, apart from the destroyed buildings, the original street fabric and the insular-parcel integrity have been irreparably lost. Together with the forced exodus and forced expropriation, it leads to the eradication of the traditional-social life, trade forms and urban social memory, developed over thousands of years, the change of propriety, the change of the demographic structure and the interruption of cultural continuity. The ongoing “Tigris Valley Project” is another big threat to the Word Heritage Site Diyarbakir outside of the fortress, which should not be underestimated. If all planning of the Turkish government would be implemented, the World Heritage Site of Diyarbakir would completely lose its core values and its uniqueness. The result would be a new old city with a completely new population, which has no relation to the cultural heritage of Diyarbakir, and a big commercialized area serving only big investments and profit, while erasing the local culture.
There are, after all, some things that mix quite well, like salt and pepper, and others that don’t mix at all, like fire and water. As an attempt to mix opposite qualities, is the market more like salt and pepper, or is it more like fire and water? ─Bertell Ollman, Market Socialism: The Debate Among
In their search for an alternative, solidarity form of economy, the Kurdish freedom movement has organized a series of events, workshops, podium discussions and bigger conferences under the motto, "Let's communalize our land, our water and our energy, let's build a democratic, free life!"