Canadian gold mining company Alamos Gold's sub-firm Doğu Biga's CEO Ahmet Şentürk was sacked from his position two months after he made a public statement that the firm wouldn't give up on their highly controversial activities in western Turkey's Kaz Mountains, the daily Sözcü reported on June 2.
Doğu Biga's gold mining activity in Kaz Mountains was met with strong social protest in 2019, when thousands flocked to the area to prompt the company to evacuate the region upon the expiration of their activity licenses in October of the same year.
“Our mine has waited for 30 million years and we have been waiting for 30 years to open the mine. We would wait three-five months more, it is not a problem,” Şentürk had said on March 29, adding that the firm holds a license for 60 years.
"Şentürk was elected for a two-year position in the board and a deputy chair position for one year in November. I called him, who lost his seats in six months, and asked why he lost his position," Sözcü columnist Çiğdem Toker said.
The company and Şentürk parted ways upon mutual agreement, the former CEO reportedly told Toker, adding that his departure from the company had nothing to do with the controversy over his radical statements in March.
Alamos Gold remains responsible for the cutting of 350,000 trees in the Kaz Mountains, although their application for an extension of their operational licenses still hasn't been ruled on by the Agriculture and Forestry Ministry.
Near the town of Kirazlı in the province of Çanakkale in northwestern Turkey, environmentalists have for months slept in tents as part of what they called a “Vigil for Water and Conscience.”
The last remaining environmentalists have continued their vigil until September 2020, when they were cleared from the camping site and detained by gendarmerie officials. Many more others were fined over this period on the grounds of violating COVID-19 precautions.