Pray for an end to Turkish military impunity as soldiers invade Iraqi Kurdistan, killing, wounding, and destroying lives and land. Turkey does so under the eyes of world leaders who, instead of speaking up against these violations, continue to trade weapons with Turkey and legitimize Turkish dictatorship and state power. Pray that the Kurdistan and Iraqi governments provide adequate support and compensations for those who pay with their lives for this impunity and the world’s silence.
On 20 June, CPT-Iraqi Kurdistan team members met with kak Ramazan Ali. Turkish forces fired a projectile at him while he irrigated his farmland, severely wounding him with shrapnel. In late April 2021, even though Ramazan’s village of Hirure is located more than 9 km from the Turkish border, Turkish special forces rappelled from helicopters to build a military base on top of the mountain ridge overlooking Hirure. Then they constructed a road through the mountains to connect the base with Turkish territory, bringing artillery to fire at farmers who come to care for their lands. In addition, the Turkish forces brought in logging companies that began to clear-cut forests of the Iraqi Kurdistan mountains and sell the wood for furniture production in Turkey.
The Turkish president claims to be building a “security belt” south of Turkey’s border to protect civilians; instead, his military brings war and destruction to hundreds of families and probably permanent military occupation. In the past two months, more than 1,500 people had to flee their homes. Those who have stayed and those who come to tend to their farms face drone strikes and artillery attacks. In the past weeks, Turkish bombardments have killed four people in a car, wounded four farmers and shepherds, burned thousands of acres of farmland, and damaged homes, a drinking water distribution system, and a church.
Kak Ramazan told CPT members, “That village has been a home for my ancestors. But now I am forced to leave it, and I don’t think I will be able to go back to my village at all.”
Please, pray for an end to Turkish operations in Iraqi Kurdistan, the withdrawal of all military forces, and the dismantling of the 41 Turkish military and intelligence bases. Please pray that families may return to their homes and lands that provide for their needs. Finally, please pray that the Iraqi and Kurdistan governments truly engage in ending the Turkish operations and provide for the needs of the impacted people like kak Ramazan and thousands of others.
To learn more about the civilian impact of the ongoing Turkish operation, please read and share with others the latest CPT-IK report.