What are your hopes on a local, national and international level for the Batman River loach?
Our rediscovery, the paper we will be writing, and the national and international news coverage should encourage local governors in Batman and Diyarbakir to protect the nature and ensure the sustainable use of the natural resources.
Unfortunately, there is no solid waste disposal plant in either of the districts that we carried out the expedition. Hazardous waste is currently hidden in locations decided by the local government, and the first step to protect both the soil and the water will be to built a specialist waste disposal plant in the area. HEPPs and dams constitute the major threats to the freshwater fish species, and we hope the construction of more dam and HEPPs in the area will be reassessed from an environmental point of view.
The biggest responsibility lies on the shoulders of the locals to protect their stream, valley and the nature accordingly. Throughout the expedition, we had a chance to visit Sarim valley and we were fascinated by the scenery of the landscape, where mountains were covered with snow and we could taste the best strawberries in our life, indicating the natural richness of the soil.
On the 14th December 2021, the minister of agriculture and forestry, Dr.Bekir Pakdemirli, announced plans for the protection of endangered species in Turkey. Taking this into consideration, we hope the Sarim and Sason valleys, including the Sarim and Han streams, will not face human-caused habitat degradation. This would ensure the Batman River loach’s continued existence in its very restricted habitat.
Internationally: our limited time in the area has indicated an enormous need for locals to be trained in the sustainable use of natural resources. This includes not only villagers and stakeholders but also local governors and officers. This is a perfect fit for an EU project. Cüneyt and I are keen to use the best available science and resources to protect the loach in its very limited habitat.
Last but not the least, we would like to thank everyone who made us feel home with their hospitality, namely:
Muhammed EVLICE (district governor of Lice, Diyarbakir)
Mustafa GÖZLET (district governor of Kulp, Diyarbakir)
Murat METE (district governor of Sason, Batman)
Naif KELES (local director of national education in Lice, Diyarbakir)
Fatih KAYA (local director of national education in Kulp, Diyarbakir)
Veysi BOZKURT (local director of national education in Sason, Batman)
Prof. Dr. Necmettin PİRİNÇÇİOĞLU (TEMA representative of Diyarbakir)
Mehmet Tahir ALTUĞ (TEMA representative of Batman)
Emin TURHALLI (The president of SarimDer association of cultural and natural heritage, NGO)
Ahmet İNAN (Diyarbakir Bar Association Lawyer)
Local people who saved us from the mud and local/national press
We caught up with Dr Kaya and Dr Oral after they returned from their December expedition to Batman – Diyarbakir.