TURKEY – Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Hatay MP lawyer Suzan Şahin and 25 other CHP MPs previously submitted a Parliamentary inquiry to the Speaker’s Office and requested that a Parliamentary investigation be launched into forest fires to ensure early intervention and ease of access.
The inquiry has been rejected by the votes of ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) MPs.
Reference to state guarantee
As reported by daily Evrensel, CHP MPs emphasized that the protection of forests is under the guarantee of the state, as foreseen by the Article 169 of the Constitutiın and Law no. 6831 on Forests.
Accordingly, led by Hatay MP Şahin, the MPs requested a Parliamentary investigation be launched into forest fires so that “the activities for building forest roads and fire safety roads could be inquired and specified, solution suggestions could be determined and forests could be protected.”
Referring to the new Judicial Reform Package, which foresees lower fines for the ones who deliberately set forests on fire, Şahin said, “It literally means that they turn a blind eye to the plunder of healthy life and environment and to the forest fires to be deliberately started for gaining unearned income.”
She also criticized that forestlands razed in fires in tourism regions are zoned for construction as if inciting to fires and that forests are concreted.
Heavy toll of five years
In their Parliamentary inquiry, the MPs also reiterated that 50 thousand football fields’ worth of forestland has been razed in forest fires in the last 5 years. However, the inquiry of the main opposition party MPs has been rejected by the ruling AKP and MHP. (DB/SD)