Residents of the village of Çukurpınar in Turkey’s region of Thrace have filed a petition to the Ministry of Environment and Forestry to stop a nearby stone quarry from expanding and cutting down tens of thousands of trees, the daily Cumhuriyet reported.
In 2017, the Özberce Mining Construction Transportation Company made a proposal to the Ministry of Environment and Forestry for a “Dolomite Quarry Expansion” and “Crushing-Screening Facility” that would expand the quarry to three times its current size. Upon receiving that proposal, the Ministry conducted an “environmental impact assessment” report (EIA) and concluded the quarry project could be carried out.
The project proposal entails an expansion of the quarry from 17.52 hectares to 51.4 hectares, excluding a 11.93 hectare area that is part of a archaeological site and forest rejuvenation area.
The area covered by the expansion is designated forest land and comes as close to 640 meters to the Çukurpınar village.
“According to the calculations, approximately 16,752 trees will be cut down, the majority of which (15,815) are spoiled oaks,” stated the EIA report, adding that the trees will be cut down within the span of 15 years.
Çukurpınar is the oldest village in the Strandzha – a mountain range that stretches from Thrace to Bulgaria – residents noted in the petition they presented to the Ministry of Environment and Forestry.