Vecdi Erbay / DİYARBAKIR
An environmentalist group in the southeastern province of Mardin is concerned that a planned wind energy plant will harm historic Rabat Castle in the area. The Mardin Ecological Association has demanded that the Dicleres Wind Energy Plant project be cancelled.
The Rabat castle is located in a village in Mardin's Derik district, and is believed to date back to the Roman era. The Mardin Ecological Association has voiced its opposition to the Dicleres Wind Energy Plant project, which would see 50 wind turbines being built in the area, 37 of which would be located in Derik.Zoning project approved for protected area in Mediterranean district of Kaş following huge fire
Locals are hoping archaeological digs be conducted in the area as to benefit from the subsequent tourism they would bring. Yet the Rabat Castle is difficult to reach and has been abandoned. Traces of an old church suggest it is related to a Roman emperor. Other signs attest to the fact that the castle was restored and that the Artuqids, a Turkmen tribe that ruled the area in the 12th century, built additional structures onto it.
While the wind energy project is a source of concern, coalmines have also been a primary problem for the area, according to Derya Akyol from the Mardin Ecological Association.
“There are close to 100 licensed mines in Mardin and 40 percent of them conduct on-site explosions. As a result of the explosions, the environment suffers significant destruction. Agricultural products in the area are dealing with a lack of productivity resulting from their fertilization being affected by the dust, and at times, underground water sources are consumed entirely,” Akyol said.
Though the mines meet certain needs in the area, Akyol said that production should not be property and capital-oriented but respectful of nature and protective of ecology.
“In a capitalist system, roads, dams, luxurious housing and bridges are depicted as the needs of society, but they are actually the needs of capital, and give birth to means of production,” Akyol said.Company building hydroelectric plant in Artvin breaching environmental rules, say activists
There is a common belief throughout the world that wind energy is a nature-friendly source, but Akyol disputes this notion:
“When we look at what wind energy projects in Turkey and [elsewhere] in the world have done to nature, we see that they cause ecological destruction, threaten fauna and flora, and damage historic and culture structures, while paving the way for certain health problems,” Akyol said.
47 different species of birds live in the area. Akyol said that the wind turbines are expected to harm them, as all the other fauna that make up the region’s ecosystem. She emphasized that clean energy is often defined only according to the type of its production, but that it is also important to consider why and for whom the energy is being produced. Akyol and her association believe that the wind energy project is being built in the interest of capital and not for the local people, which was not properly informed as environmental impact reports were being devised.