Deniz Çil / DUVAR

Locals of the North Aegean’s Gulf of Saros are continuing to protest a massive natural gas harbor project where the flammable gas would be transferred across pipelines and stored in a region that’s known for its untouched nature and beauty.

The environmental impact assessment for the Floating Storage Regasification Unit (FSRU) and accompanying harbor started in May 2018, Keşan City Council Chairman Hasan Karagöz said, but the consecutive report only listed 10 natural gas pipelines and two “white pipes.”

Hasan Karagöz

“The file said that there would be 10 land pipelines and two white pipelines. These white pipelines are diesel fuel and gasoline. The file didn’t explain how they would arrive at the harbor, how they would be discharged or transferred,” Karagöz said.

Keşan City Council petitioned deputies from all parties in nearby Edirne, Tekirdağ, Kırklareli and Çanakkale to stop the project that would uproot 7,200 trees, and gathered some 45,000 signatures to stop construction.

“There are no parties, associations, unions or organizations in Keşan that think this project should go on,” Karagöz said. “Not even the ruling party came out and said that they support it.”

Although the initial environmental impact assessment report for the project came out in favor of construction, an appeal to the report prompted a second investigation, which concluded the area wasn’t “suitable for the project scientifically, legally or environmentally.”

In turn, the Environment and Urbanization Ministry “amended” the project in light of the environmental impact assessment, and Turkey’s Petroleum Pipeline Corporation (BOTAŞ) has signed a tender for the project with an anonymous partner.

Keşan locals gather in town to discuss the project.