Villagers from the Ikizdere district, which is located in the northern province of Rize on the coasts of Black Sea have been resisting a quarry project which is proceeding in their area. The villagers have continued their vigil since the beginning of the construction in the valley, which is a “site of natural beauty and a protected nature area”.
As villagers continue their vigil despite police blockades and arrests, support for the villagers stand is now widespread and messages of support are coming to them from throughout the country, MA reports.
62 lawyer’s bar associations published a joint statement on Wednesday entitled: “Our people in Rize İkizdere Valley Cevizlik village, we hear your voice!”.
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The joint statement of support from the bar associations said: “We know you, we hear you, we see you; You have been standing for days against 4 quarry projects to protect your living spaces, living creatures, and our common home, the earth. We are grateful to you for your determination to protect our nature, our breathing air and all our futures.”
“They want to remove nearly 16 million tons of stones from your habitat. Where you live with their trees, birds, wildlife, and water. They want you to remain silent against the possible risks of landslides, the destruction of pasture and agriculture, the destruction of feeding areas of bees, fishes, the pollution of your drinking water. You should know that no company, no manager has the right to decide this despite you.”
The bar associations also appealed to the Turkish authorities: “You do not have the right to give orders to attack these villagers. We call on you to respect the law and not act against the laws of these lands.”
In the meantime, the people of İkizdere called on citizens of Turkey to complain to the CİMER (Turkey’s Presidential Communications Centre) to call a halt to the project.
In the sample petition prepared, it was requested that the destructive quarry projects be stopped and an investigation be initiated against the law enforcement forces preventing the use of legal rights and freedoms of the villagers.