Canadian mining company Alamos Gold has said that its license required to resume operations in the Kaz Mountains is pending, as environmentalists continue their watch in the area.
"For safety and security we chose to stop operations last summer, and construction at the site has remained at a standstill. We have yet to restart operations given our license is still pending," Alamos Gold told Duvar English on July 16.
The Kaz Mountains Resistance has been in action in over 350 days to evacuate the mining company from the western landscape, and members of the peaceful protest have been fined more than 300,000 Turkish Liras overall.
Chairman of the Çanakkale Bar Association's Environmental and Urban Law Commission, lawyer Ahmet Ozan Yılmaz said that the mining companies have already slaughtered four or five times the amount of forest land that they initially reported.
"It's not technically possible to rehabilitate the forest entirely because it consists of an entire ecosystem," Yılmaz said.
The mining site encompasses Atikhisar Dam and the delta that feeds into it, which also make up the sole water provider for the metropolitan Çanakkale area.
"Some 98.7 percent of gold mining area that has cyanide is on forest land, that is home to 18 mammals, 41 birds, 10 reptiles and 117 insects. The land that the mining project effectively destroyed housed 283 different plant species," Yılmaz noted.
Adding that seven of the species on the destroyed forest land were endemic, the lawyer said the cyanide will never leave the land entirely.
'If we are quiet they will keep on working'
Lawyer Yılmaz also noted that the fines issued to the protesters were illegal, as they were merely exercising their constitutional right to peaceful demonstration.
Ferzan Aktaş is one of the protesters who have been at the mountains since July 26, 2019.
Aktaş noted that the companies haven't had licenses to operate for the past nine months.
"We know that if we become quiet, they'll just keep working right where they left off."
Another protester, Melis Tantan said that the mining companies have cut trees twice since October.MPs, activists sign petition to evacuate gold company from Kaz Mountains in western Turkey