Erdoğan quickly rescinds decree opening land around Akbelen forest for mining 

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has rescinded his decree opening 190 parcels of land around the Akbelen Forest in the Aegean Muğla province for mining operations merely two days later. AKP’s Muğla mayoral candidate Aydın Ayaydın said he requested the move from Erdoğan. 

Duvar English

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on March 13 issued a decree rescinding the mining approval he has granted to the farming land surrounding the Akbelen Forest in the Aegean Muğla province.

A presidential decree that expropriated 190 parcels of farming land for brown coal mining was published in the Official Gazette on March 11, and another decree rescinding the decision quickly followed two days later. 

The decree rescinding the expropriation of farmland in Muğla is published on the March 13 Official Gazette.

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Muğla mayoral candidate Aydın Ayaydın took to social media to “thank” President Erdoğan for hearing his concerns about expropriating Muğla’s farmlands. 

Ayaydın was previously a deputy from the main opposition People’s Republican Party (CHP). 

The mayoral candidate stated that Erdoğan had approved his request about the farmlands and villages, “just as he had mobilized all resources” when he pointed out the dire situation of the famous Marmaris and Fethiye coves of Muğla.

“Our need for locally generated energy is apparent, however, I could not bear seeing Muğla’s farmlands turned into a coal mine site,” wrote Ayaydın. 

The Akbelen Forest bordering the farmlands in question has been threatened by plans to extend coal mines to supplant the thermal power plant by YK Energy, a company with close ties with the Turkish government, since 2019

In the summer of 2023, villagers and activists protesting tree cutting in the forest saw the harsh attack of the gendarmerie teams using pepper spray and gas cartridges.

President Erdoğan had called the protesters “environmentalist-looking marginals.”

Presidential decrees have become increasingly prevalent to regulate standard expropriation and land permit rulings. A report by the CHP revealed that Turkey’s main legislation method was presidential decrees in 2023. 

The number of bills issued with presidential decrees was about six times more than those passed through parliamentary motions, bringing the Parliament’s legislative function into question.