146 related cases

It is reported that about 300 large and small scale industries are located in Dilovasi Organized Industrial Zone among which 193 are active and that roughly 20,000 people are employed in these. The majority of these represent the metallurgy and chemical sectors. Altogether, these companies comprise 17% of Turkeys industry. The bowl shape topographic structure of Dilovasi and the presence of iron and steel smelting plants as well as paint and chemical facilities negatively influence the air quality of the region. Research studies based on death records have been conducted demonstrating that cancer-related cases range over the worlds and Turkeys averages. In regional measurements, the PM10 air pollution indicator was confirmed to be 3,5 times higher than the accepted limit…

See case →

Residents of Artvin, a small town in the North-eastern Black Sea region in Turkey continue to resist the opening of a dangerous gold and copper mine in the Cerattepe area for more than 20 years. After years of resistance, several mining companies, and several court rulings against the project, the conflict is still on-going.The first attempts to mine the gold and copper in the area started in the beginning of 1980s. After several years of explorations, the first mining license was given in 1987. In the early 1990s, the license was transferred to the international mining company Cominco, who started further explorations and test drillings. Even after the test drillings, the negative effects were observed immediately when livestock died suddenly….

See case →

Located in the southeast of Buyuk Menderes River Delta, Bafa Lake is a shallow lake whose deepest part is 21m. 12.281 ha Bafa Lake is in both Aydin and Mugla provinces. Feeding from Buyuk Menderes River, the Aegean Regions longest water course, Bafa Lake is an alluvial dam of low salinity. The lake was formed 2000-2300 years ago through silt carried by the Buyuk Menderes River disconnecting it from the Aegean Sea (Kasparek, 1988). As a result of Soke Plains rising from alluvial deposits the lakes level rose above the seas. Except for its Western and Northwestern sections, the lake is surrounded by mountains. From where the lake opens to the plain towards the West, it is reported that excess…

See case →

The 3rd bridge over Bosphorus (or as officially called “Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge”) is a bridge and interlinking highways project in the northern part of Istanbul on the Bosphorous, between Garipce and Poyrazkoy villages. There are already two bridges on the Bosphorus connecting the two continents (Asia and Europe). Th plans for thhis third bridge project has first come up in 1993 and has ever since encountered an increasing number and variety of opponent groups. The current project was not subject to an Environmental Impact Assessment according to the Turkish Environmental Legislation since it was claimed to be a nationwide strategic project which was already planned before the EIA legislation came into force. During the decision-making process people who would…

See case →

In the late 1970s, the Turkish Government launched the Southeastern Anatolian Project (GAP project), with the declared aim to produce cheap energy and to encourage land redistribution by increasing the amount of irrigable land. However, very high costs, project delays, negative environmental impacts of dams, and the failed construction of many of the irrigation works, turned GAP into a really difficult problem to solve over the years. The Ilisu Dam Project is the third biggest hydroelectric project of the GAP, with 1,200 MW of capacity installed; its reservoir will submerge approximately 300 km2 in the Tigris Valley. Even though project works started in 1954 the project has only been approved in late 1990s. Since then, several consortia of European companies…

See case →

The first nuclear power plant (NPP) of Turkey will be constructed in Akkuyu locality situated within Buyukeceli towns borders in Mersin Provinces Gulnar District. The license of the NPP was obtained 36 years ago. The construction work of the NPP has been commissioned to Rosatom, a Russian state-owned company, through a direct intergovernmental agreement and without a tender process. The NPP is not wanted by two-thirds of the Turkish population and 80% of the people living in Mersin. Especially after the Fukushima accident, the project leads to preoccupation due to high risks and the regions proximity to earthquake fault lines. Additionally, due to the high cost of nuclear energy, long construction time, fuel import dependence and the close association of…

See case →

The Sinop (İnceburun) Nuclear Power Plant is a planned nuclear plant located at Sinop in northern Turkey. It will be the country’s second nuclear power plant after Akkuyu The deal for the project was signed between Turkish Prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe on May, 2013, in a similar manner with the Akkuyu project. The expected cost of the project is US$22 billion. The project will be carried out by Atmea, a joint venture consortium of Japanese Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and French Areva (Earlier contacts was made with Canadian company CANDU). Furthermore, French electric utility company GDF Suez will be in charge of the operation of the nuclear plant, expected to start electricity production at…

See case →

The region which was partially declared a national park in 1993, is also rich with minerals (particularly gold and silver), and these are being plundered by foreign and domestic companies alike, leaving once majestic mountain a scene of toxic devastation. Prospecting activities have been under way in the Biga peninsula and especially in the northern side of Ida Mountain since the beginning of 1990s. Activities have been expanding in the region since 2007 (with more than 40 licences and around 100 projects at exploration stage now); explicitly two gold mines (Kirazli and Agi Mountain) made progress. The Canadian company, Alamos Gold, in charge of three projects (with three licences, Kirazli, Agi Dagi and Camyurt) has been targeting to start production in Kirazli…

See case →

Eurogold Gold Mining Company was founded in 1989 by French and Canadian multinational mining companies (Gokvardar 1998:137), following the requirements of the Mining Law of 1985 in Turkey. A prospecting permit in an area close to three villages of Bergama was obtained, aiming to establish the first modern gold mine in the country. In later years the companys shares were sold to an Australian company (Orhon, 1999) and following this, in 2005, it was handed over to a domestic company named Koza Gold. The mining company takes cyanide leaching method as basic practise for its activities and dump the cyanide in an open waste pool. Since the location is an earthquake-prone zone and the negative effects of cyanide on nature,…

See case →

A murder case on 10th May 2017 made headlines in Turkey. It took place in a village of the Mediterranean city of Antalya. Aysin and Ali Büyüknohutçu, a couple, were cruelly shot dead in their countryside house. They were highly involved in politics, and very well known for their environmental and consumer rights activism. Büyüknohutçu was best known for his activism and lawsuits against stone quarries in Finike and the rest of Antalya, in addition to being the chairman of a tenants’ rights association and a consumer rights workgroup within the Antalya City Council. With the help of locals and environmentalists, the Büyüknohutçus had been fighting against local stone quarries in Finike’s Alacadağ, Gökçeyaka, Kızılcık and Adala villages, which are…

See case →

Turkeys biggest silver mine is owned by Eti Silver Corporation (privatised in 2004) and is located in Kutahyas Tavsanli district. The mine activity uses cyanide for extracting and processing the silver element; recently, cyanide loaded water leaked from the immense storage pools and reached the groundwater as a result of an accident due to excessive rains. This accident provoked disastrous groundwater pollution and has raised the question of the already alarming level of groundwater contamination. Source: Ejatlas…

See case →

Uluabat Lake is one of the most important lakes of Turkey because of its biological diversity. The lake is declared as a Ramsar Area in 1998. In 2000, it has also become part of the Living Lakes network that ranks the most important lakes of the world. Despite its importance, Uluabat Lake is under threat due to ineffective implementation of local and national policies in the area. The lake and its basin are affected by many human-driven external factors. Dam constructions, domestic waste, industrial waste, overfishing, overuse of pesticides are the main issues. Stakeholders of Uluabat Lake carry out agriculture, animal husbandry, fishing, hunting as well as industrial activities and these activities are closely connected with the lake. In 2002,…

See case →

The lead factory in Gaziemir district in the town of Izmir, has been manufacturing lead bars for 70 years ever since its establishment in 1940. The industrial input was old lead accumulators and lead scrap. When the factory was relocated to a new operation field, the old industrial area in Gaziemir and the nearby warehouse remained vacant. The factory site stretches over 7 ha, where old machines, and abandoned storage remain unattended as well as sequentially formed acid pools. In 2007, Turkish Atomic Energy Authority (TAEK) detected nuclear waste buried beneath the factory’s waste storage. After conducting research on the material, TAEK identified a nuclear particle, called ‘Europium 152’ which is restricted in Turkey. Import of this material is strictly…

See case →

Kanal İstanbul is a project for the artificial sea-level waterway, which is being built by the Republic of Turkey on the European side of Turkey, connecting the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara, and thus to the Aegean and Mediterranean seas. Istanbul Canal would bisect the current European side of Istanbul and thus form an island between the continents of Asia and Europe (the island would have a shoreline with the Black Sea, Sea of Marmara, the new canal and the Bosphorus).[1][2] The new waterway would bypass the current Bosphorus….

See case →

ACTORS

IMPACTS

In July 2009, a procurement contract has been signed between Bolu Special Provincial Administration and the General Directorate of Nature Conservation and National Parks in order for the former to carry out the activities run in the Abant Lake Nature Park such as the management of camping sites, the entrance and the local products sales units, general clean-up and security services. Following the signature, there have been claims about the Bolu Special Provincial Administration making sluice channeling to raise the level of the lake, extending the roads around the lake by land reclamation which blocked the stream flow feeding the Abant Lake. Thereupon, institutions such as the General Directorate of Nature Conservation and National Parks, Western Black Sea Forestry Research…

See case →

Aliaga is a heavily industrialized area on the coast of the Aegean Sea. Due to high rates of pollution, the region is almost a death zone. Aliaga district has been contaminated by negligently increasing investments. Among these are oil refineries, petrochemical and waste incineration facilities, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) filling facilities and storage tanks, hazardous shipbreaking yards, ports, imported coalyards, junkyards, fertilizer factories, rolling mill plants, 6 arc furnaced iron steel facilities, hazardous factory waste grounds, iron steel sub-industry and casting facilities, logistics facilities, 3 natural gas and oil fired thermic power plants. When one takes into consideration the Bakircay region, the northern axis of Izmir has been completely discarded with the pollutions of Bergama gold mine, Maltepe organized leather…

See case →

ACTORS

Six small hydroelectric power plants are constructed in the Artvin Kabaca Valley, as part of 200 hydroelectric power plants being constructed or planned to be constructed in the provinces of Rize and Artvin. The constructions result in destruction of forests, destruction of waterbeds and aquatic environment. Fragmentation of natural areas and ravage created by energy transmission lines, destruction of hillsides by earth-moving machinery used in road constructions and filling of river beds constitute subjects of serious contestations not only in the region but also in the country. Source: Ejatlas…

See case →

A thermal power plant has been proposed in a forest area of 50 ha closed to Begendik Town. Within the scope of the current legislation, the absence of legal barriers and use restrictions around the project area was instrumental in the choice for the thermal power plants location. The plant will generate 9 billion kW electricity annually. It is planned to join the generated electricity to the 380 kilovolt Hamitabat Habibler line via a 25 km line. The coal will be transported via 150.000 ton capacity ships. In the coastal zone of the power plant, a port or jetty suitable for ships of this size will be constructed. The thermal plant will harm the biodiversity through forest destruction and regional…

See case →

Burdur Gölü havzada yaygınlaşan sulu tarım ile artan su ihtiyacı sebebiyle gölü besleyen dereler üzerine yapılan barajlar ve kontrolsüz yeraltı suyu kullanımı ile 1987’den beri küçülmektedir (Ataol, 2010). Bu küçülme bugün gölün ⅓’ünün kaybına kadar ulaşmış durumda. Burdur Gölü yıllara göre seviye değişimleri ve su alma yapıları arasındaki ilişki T.C. Orman ve Su İşleri Bakanlığı, Su Yönetimi Genel Müdürlüğü tarafından hazırlanan “2015-2019 Burdur Gölü Alt Havzası Eylem Planı”nda yer alan tabloda açıklanmıştır. Bu düşüş ciddi boyutlarda sulak alan habitatı kaybına ve su kuşları için büyük önem taşıyan sığ alanların kurumasına sebep olmuştur (Eken vd., 2006). Ayrıca bu hızlı su düzeyi düşüşü doğal olarak acı olan göl suyunun tuzluluk oranının yirmi sene önceki ölçümlerde Akdeniz’in iki katıyken son ölçümlerde 560 katına…

See case →

COMMODITIES

● Water 

Located in Turgutlu district of Manisa province, Caldag nickel mine has Turkeys biggest nickel reserve with 33 million tons. However, Turgutlu, in the center of Gediz Plain, is important for its many valuable agricultural products above ground and its fertile soils more than its underground nickel reserves. Having obtained the necessary permits from the former Ministry of Environment and Forestry, the company operates in extracting and processing the nickel in a pivotal project. This marked the beginning of the local communitys struggle for closing the mine by cancelling the forest land appropriation and other permits. Source: Ejatlas…

See case →

COMMODITIES

Cirali Coast consists of a 90 ha area. On 27.07.2011, Antalya Provincial Forestry Directorate allocated 18 ha (20%) of this area to Ormanspor/Forest Football Club. The same day, Ormanspor rented this area for training to the manager of Nerissa Otel, Huseyin Gedik, for 10 years to be used as daily recreational-use facility, in exchange for a sponsorship compensation. Antalya Natural Heritage Preservation Board under the Ministry of Environment and Urbanisation approved the construction of the facilities in this area on 19.12.2011. Huseyin Gedik started the process of wire fencing the coast on 15.02.2012. The Cirali coast encountered many problems as a golf course in 1990, garbage dumping area in 1997 and now as football field and popular excursion spot. Source:…

See case →

COMMODITIES

● Land 

Efemçukuru Gold Mine, an underground gold mine and related plants and facilities, is located in Aegean Region of Turkey, 20 km to İzmir city and 14 km to Menderes province. The mine is located inside the strict preservation zone of the rivers and streams that supply water to Tahtalı Dam and Çamlı Dam. The deposit was first discovered on early 1990s, afterwards a licence was obtained and initial exploration activities were conducted. After the initial license and a positive EIA report allowing the mining of 2,5 Million tonnes of gold, the mine started to operate in 2011, despite the protests from both the local Elele Movement and NGOs from İzmir. In 2012, not long after the start of operation, the…

See case →

ACTORS

The water sources that feed Ergene River and the agricultural lands that are irrigated with this water are being threatened by industrial and domestic wastes originating from regional factories, the quarries established in Istranca Mountains, unregulated industrialization and unplanned urbanization of the region. As a result, Thraces centuries old agrarian structure is coming to an end and the pollution in Ergene River is jeopardising the habitat of all living creatures. The inhabitants of the region are faced with severe costs every single day. Source: Ejatlas…

See case →

Even though Turkey has been a signatory to the United Nations Biodiversity Convention since 1997 and Cartagena Biosafety Protocol since 2004, it only enforced the Biosafety Law in 2010. Even though the Biosafety Law did not allow the production of GMO crops, it permitted their import based on certain conditions. Thirteen corn varieties to be used as animal feed were permitted (Bt11, DAS1507, DAS59122, DAS1507xNK603, NK603, NK603xMON810, GA21, MON89034, MON89034xNK603, Bt11xGA21, 59122x1507xNK603, 1507×59122 ve MON88017xMON810). Twenty one GMO corn varieties, 3 colza, 1 sugar beet and 1 potato varieties to be used as human food; 3 colza, 1 sugar beet varieties to be used as animal feed and 22 corn varieties to be used as bioethanol are awaiting approval of…

See case →

ACTORS

Hotamis Marshes have completely dried out as a result of State Hydraulic Works interventions to the water regime through discharge and irrigation channels since mid 1990s. Previously spreading to some 17.400ha the marshes dropped to 8.000ha in 1990 and dried out in early 2000s. The main threat in the area currently is the storage dam intended to be built at the site as an extension of the State Hydraulic Works Blue Tunnel Project. Even though many parties and especially State Hydraulic Works claim that they will save the marshes with the storage dam, the site will completely lose its natural feature if the project is realised leaving no chance for restoration. As a result of the deal signed on 03.11.2011…

See case →

ACTORS

The Black Sea Coastal Highway Project was initiated in 1987 to ease the access to the Black Sea region and to increase its economic activity. The objective of the project was to construct an uninterrupted highway from Samsun to Artvin, including 6 coastal cities. Mostly due to financial problems, the project was completed in 20 years and opened to traffic in 2007. The roads have been built along the sea, following the coast line and relatively higher than the sea level, disrupting and destroying the cities access and connection to the shore. Consequently, several conflicts emerged in those cities. In 1994, the people of Ordu protested against the damage the highway would create and the 5km part of the road…

See case →

ACTORS

Kisladag Gold Mine is the largest gold-mining operation in Turkey. A total of 10 million tons per year is expected to be extracted with an expected 15 years of mine life. The mine will produce 240 000 ounces of gold per year at full production capacity. Kisladag is located within the boundaries of the province of Usak, Izmir (180 kilometers to the west) and Ankara (350 km north-east). Usak city center is the closest to the project site, being at 35 km northeast. The protests started in 1999 at both local and national level. However, despite the protest by EJOs, the mine succeed to pass a positive EIA in 2003, and in 2006 the mine began to be operational. Source:…

See case →

ACTORS

Kocacay delta, situated 25 km north of Bursa Karacabey, is on the southern coast of Marmara Sea. This delta is particularly important for the habitat due to the lagoons, flooded forests and wide sand dunes formed where Kocacay meets the sea. The area includes two shallow lagoons, namely Dalyan and Arapciftligi. The south side of the delta is lined by hills covered with deciduous forests. The areas coastal section is frequented by the locals as a day-trip destination. The land between the lagoons and the hills is used for agriculture. Flooded forests and wetlands are being used for grazing animals. Fishing activities in the lagoons is an important source of income in the area. Other land uses include woodcutting, sand…

See case →

Outside Turkey, the work of attorney Arif Ali Cangi for a “nuclear free world” has been recognised. One of his most recent cases for a “nuclear free Turkey” involves the villages of Kesir Jörprübasi/Manisa and Kisir Söke Aydin. In the 1970s and 1980s the Turkish government prospected for and mined uranium across the country. Near the first village the government authorities established a facility where uranium ore was turned into yellow cake. Later the contaminated site was abandoned without any safety measures. The local population knew nothing about the hazards they were exposed to. (1). Source: Ejatlas…

See case →

ACTORS

COMMODITIES

● Uranium 

The residents of Bayindir (south east of Izmir) are concerned about the ‘Mersinli Wind Farm Project’ which would rise very close to the village and comprise a rapid confiscation plan concerning lands and properties nearby. The subject matter is not limited to the lands, properties and adjacent forest; but it also puts public health as well as animal health at stake. The villagers in return opposed the project, claiming they haven’t been consulted at any point and the environmental impact assessment (EIA) report cannot be valid. The regional court ruled out the report on the basis of residents’ allegations but the company, Yander A.S. appealed the decision and validated the EIA report with some minor amendments. As of today (2017),…

See case →

COMMODITIES

● Electricity 

IMPACTS

Tuna fattening farms in Sigacik Bay, Seferihisar, Izmir have been opposed by a range of social actors for about a decade. Mobilizations against these fish farms have complained about the inappropriate Environmental Impact Assesments (EIAs) obtained by the fish farm projects and opened court cases aiming the withdrawal of positive EIAs and stopping these projects. Already in 2008 when the zoning plans for two fish farms have been declared for the vicinity of Sigacik [9], a range of social actors such as local people, environmentalists, researchers, local municipality, artists, local associationas and environmental lawyers have been resisting these projects [2] and the positive EIAs regarding the establishemnt of these fish farms [3]. They have been arguing that Sigacik Bay is…

See case →

ACTORS

The sweetgum tree (Liquidambar orientalis) spreads across Turkeys south-western region and is an endemic tree species limited to Southern Aegean and Rhodes Island. Usually found in groups or as individual trees along streams and in areas with high water table, the only place where this species forms actual forests is Koycegiz. However, sweetgum forests total area decreased from 6.312 ha in 1949 to 1.348 ha in 2011. The main reason for this is the conversion of their habitat through cutting the trees or other drying out methods for citrus plantation as the soils where they occur have high water table and are suitable for agriculture. Currently, the remaining sweetgum forests are too fragmented and risk extinction as their characteristics for…

See case →

Natural balance and hydrologic cycle at Sultan Marshes were destroyed due to the construction of dams, wells and drainage channels due to basin-wide irrigated farming support policies that started in Develi Basin in 1973. From the beginning of 2000s, the water quantity of the Sultan Marshes decreased dangerously because of the water-guzzling-products farming, agricultural irrigation, illegal well drilling, losses due to the existing irrigation techniques and less water flow to the marshlands due to the dams; as from 2003 marshlands have almost dried out. The effects on local people were unequal: while landowners adopted agricultural irrigation, loan use, base price, market support systems that were prioritized for the last 25 years, landless farmers who make their own living through reed…

See case →

Two different and interrelated arrangements are planned for Taksim Square. Pedestrianisation is planned at the square by taking the roads underground via tunnels. Yet the placement of ramps in such an important urban public space would prevent pedestrian use and actually make entrances to the square difficult, opponents claim. The square has a very important role in urban memory (especially for demonstration meetings) that could not then be organized because of the entrance difficulties. It was also planned to build a model of the pre-existing Taksim Halil Paşa Artillery Barracks as a shopping mall on the present Taksim Gezi Park area. As a result of destroying probably the only recreation ground in the city centre and turning it into a…

See case →

ACTORS

IMPACTS

Kayen Heta Electricity Production Inc. began planning for a hydroelectric power plant construction in Bagbasi town of Erzurums Tortum district in 2009 and got its first HPP licence on 09.06.2010. Local people organized opposition demonstrations in order to get their water access rights back and prevent the negative effects of the project on local flora and fauna. During these protests 6 people were arrested and sentenced for 6 months. The first nationwide demonstration was on 05.09.2011. After the police and gendarmerie intervention to the HHP protest on 26.09.2011 15 people were banned to make contacts with other HPP protesters. As a result of these, Bagbasi Mayor resigned from his party on September 27th. Once again the project was stopped by…

See case →

Once being the biggest salt lake of Europe and second biggest lake of Turkey and despite gaining official protection status of Special Environmental Protection Area since 2000, Tuz Lake and its satellite wetlands (Kulu, Terkesan and Bolluk Lakes, Esmekaya Marshes) face the threat of drying up because of the dominant water polices. Irrigated agriculture carried out intensively in Tuz Lake closed basin is based on illegal groundwater wells. Each year well drillings go deeper and cause the reduction of underground water which naturally feeds the basin, uncontrollable desertification and salinisation. Biological features of the protected area (such as semi-wet habitats) high in endemism are changing and the soil in the region becomes arid and salinised. Currently the biggest water course…

See case →

ACTORS

It is a project aiming to establish a storage terminal for 35 different types of carcinogenic, mutagen, inflammable, explosive and ignitable chemicals, herbal oils, petroleum and petroleum-derived products in 150 tanks with a capacity of a 710.000 m3 each. The terminal is planned to be established on a delta with dangerous alluvial and pervious based fault lines in a location as close as 1 km to the North Anatolian Fault Line near Taskopru region of Yalova with a population of 150,000 people living around 40 km2. Royal Vopak, a Dutch multinational company, stated that they wish to create new import/export opportunities in Turkish chemicals market, but the terminal location is next to a chemical production factory owned by Aksa Acrylic…

See case →

ACTORS

Taşzemin Co., a private company, is carrying out the permit processes for a 200 MW capacity coal plant and an open pit coal mining project right in between Çırpılar and Villages in Yenice (Çanakkale) alongside the Ida Mountains, rich in terms of biodiversity. The coal mining site is 845 hectares of forest and agricultural lands. 820 hectares of the sites is high quality agricultural soil. The villagers are actively running agricultural business and exporting vegetables abroad. There are irrigation investments going on in the site which will increase the agriculture revenues per hectare by 2,5 times. However, according to the design of the project, the plant will use the water of the irrigation investment to cool the plant. There is…

See case →

Adur Madencilik Ltd. which is a subsidiary of Aldridge Uranium Inc. has been searching for uranium reserves in rural parts of Yozgat City in central Anatolia. Spokesmen of the company announced that they are going to continue drilling and feasibility studies for the next 3 years and they are optimistic about starting uranium mining in the area. Source: Ejatlas…

See case →

ACTORS

COMMODITIES

● Uranium 

Do you know that hundreds of tons of chemicals, which may cause cancer upon contact, are kept in a storage site in Kocaeli? Do you further know that such chemicals can be carried by water and air; cause cancer and other serious medical problems upon contact or inhaling; if not intervened, may cause grave dangers to people in our country and in the world, and even an ecological crisis; simple inquiries show that they are not produced or used anywhere in the world; and can spread over so large areas that they may end up resurfacing at the poles? This type of chemicals is called Persistent Organic Pollutants, or POPs. The rapid industrialization in Turkey after the 1950s, particularly the…

See case →