Villagers from the district, which is located in the Black Sea region of Turkey, have been resisting a quarry project which is proceeding in their area. The valley where the quarrying is to take place is a “nature site and a protected area”, and reportedly one of 200 priority areas worldwide that must be protected.
The project commenced, however, on 21 April after a presidential decree for urgent expropriation in the İşkencedere Valley area was issued. The vigil against this project has been continuing despite the obstructive actions and continuous attacks of the gendarmerie.
Four villagers who wanted to go to the valley in the morning hours to contınue the vigil were beaten and detained by offıcıals. Mesopotamia News Agency spoke to the villagers who were released after staying in custody for hours.
“As soon as we went to the region, first they tried to detain the men. They asked us to leave the region but when we resisted the commander threatened us by saying, “You go on your own or else,'” recounted Derya Bas, a villager from Ikizdere.
“The gendarmerie used force against us. We were dragged on the ground and then they detained us,” she added.
Fermiye Baş, who was also taken into custody, said, “We went to the field in the morning to continue our vigil. When the gendermerie asked us to leave some women also climbed the trees.”
Later the commander gave an order to the soldiers to cut the trees with a saw.
“When I saw the machines working, I passed out. It was very upsettıng for me,” said Baş.
“I got myself to the police station and I realised that we were detaıned. But we will continue to resist despite all their pressure. We are not leaving, we are living on our land.”