Seçkin Sağlam / DUVAR
Locals in the province of Çanakkale demonstrated against an environmental impact report meeting that seeks to approve copper mining in the region by a pro-government company that will result in the clear-cutting of 3.5 million trees in the area.
The demonstration was successful in preventing the meeting from taking place. One reason locals have opposed the meeting is due to the coronavirus epidemic.
“If the meeting is conducted, it could exacerbate the epidemic, and for this reason it needs to be stopped right away. If even one person catches coronavirus here, the responsibility lies with the authorities who didn't cancel the meeting,” said Süheyla Doğan, spokeswoman of a local environmental advocacy organization.
Three villages in Çanakkale's Kaz Mountains are under threat due to the planned copper mining by Cengiz Holding firm.
Last month, it was reported that Cengiz Holding purchased the copper mines from the Canadian company Liberty Gold for $55 million dollars.
Cengiz Holding is known for its close relationship with the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and has obtained lucrative tenders for large projects.
A year of protests aimed at stopping gold mining in the mountains, already having caused massive deforestation, led to a temporary halt in mining activities, which have since resumed.