Forest fire erupts in Turkey’s northwestern Kaz Mountains

Yet another forest fire erupted in Turkey on Aug. 23 as flames rose from Kaz Mountains, the former site of a controversial mining project by Canadian company Alamos Gold. The Canadian miner had halted construction work at Kaz Mountains in 2019, after the mining concessions expired and amid protests against the project.

Duvar English

Turkey's Kaz Mountains in the northwestern province of Balıkesir became the site of a forest fire on Aug. 23, after fires raged through the country's Aegean and Mediterranean coasts for several weeks. 

The mountains were the site of controversial mining work and have been home to protesters opposing the project by Canadian Alamos Gold. 

Environmentalists on the site have urged the government to tackle the fire in the area in the aftermath of the devastatingly weak efforts to combat the flames that took over the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts of the country over the summer months. 

"There's one plane, there are seven helicopters as far as I see," one local told the Kazdağları Istanbul Solidarity, the platform reported. 

The platform reported that a firefighting plane was initially spotted in the area, but then disappeared. 

"The weather is really windy and the water dropped by the helicopters changes direction before reaching the flames!" the platform said. 

The absence of firefighting planes in the country became a dire problem during the forest fires that scorched the country's coasts during the summer, and the government confirmed that they were short on the vessels. 

After the mine project on the Kazdağları mountain range stirred a public outcry in Turkey for months, the Turkish government did not grant a routine renewal of the company’s mining licenses regarding the Kirazlı Gold Mine. 

Alamos Gold later issued a statement in April saying that it would file an investment treaty claim exceeding $1 billion against Turkey on the grounds of “unfair and inequitable treatment.” 

Alamos said it has along with the subsidiaries invested more than $250 million in Turkey, unlocked over a billion dollars worth of project value, and contributed over $20 million in royalties, taxes and forestry fees to the Turkish government.