Three and a half million trees are projected to be felled in the Kaz Mountains to advance Cengiz Holding’s Halilağa copper mine project. Due to public opposition mounted against this project, a scheduled public Environmental Impact Assessment meeting to discuss it was cancelled.
Cengiz Holding, which is also planning to proceed with the Cerattepe mine project, is known to have close connections with the Justice and Development Party (AKP) led government.
Villagers and ecologists protested against the project even as gendarmerie set up security points on the way to the village.
The meeting was cancelled due to protests in the region.
A similar project had been planned for the region in 2012, named the ‘Halilağa Gold Mine Project’. However, due to the protests of people living in the region, that project had been cancelled.
Public protests over mining tenders
The destruction of nature in Turkey has become a widespread concern in recent years. Turkey’s Mining and Petroleum Works Directorate (MAPEG) sold around 1,000 mining sites in 2018 and 2019.
MAPEG placed 766 mining sites on tender, located in 68 cities across the country. One of these is located in Munzur Valley in Dersim.
The tender bid for Munzur Valley will be held on 23 September. However, the mining operations threaten local resources, water supplies and even residential areas.
As 23 September approaches, activists continue to protest against the tender in Munzur and other parts of the country.