Cihan Başakcıoğlu / Gazete Duvar
Turkish gendarmerie early on April 8 battered villagers holding a vigil against the construction of a cement factory in the Aegean Muğla province's Deştin neighborhood. Some 11 people, including two children, were detained after being dragged on the ground and beaten.
Nine of the detainees were transferred to the courthouse for their testimonies to be taken, while two children were handed over to their families. Later on in the day, the court released all of the villagers under judicial control measures by imposing an international travel ban on them.
Local residents have been protesting against the cement factory that will be constructed on 7,751 acres of land since early April. While the court process continues against the factory, the company brought construction machines into the landfill to initiate operations.
After the detentions, the area where the cement factory is planned to be built was blockaded by the gendarmerie.
One of the protestors stated that the gendarmerie and company collaborated to attack villagers in the dawn and added: “They handcuffed children behind their backs and dragged women on the ground. There are traces of handcuffs on their wrists. They have blockaded the area and do not allow villagers to enter but company vehicles and employees can pass through as they wish."
Local villagers are a crucial actor in environmentalist movements in Turkey as they have been struggling against factories and energy plants on their lands for years. Violent intervention towards locals is a common practice adopted by the authorities.
(English version by Can Bodrumlu)