Turkish gendarmerie blockade portable toilets of activists in Akbelen Forest

Turkish gendarmerie have not allowed the villagers and activists to use their portable toilets during their protest in Akbelen Forest, who resist the cutting of trees for a coal mine in the southern province of Muğla.

Source: Photojournalist Berkcan Zengin's Twitter

Duvar English

Turkish gendarmerie on Aug. 12 did not allow portable toilets to be installed in the protest site to be used by villagers and activists in Akbelen Forest, who have been protesting the cutting of trees for the expansion of the coal mining site in southern Muğla province’s İkizköy district.

Last week, the gendarmerie did not allow activists to use a water tank. This time, the gendarmerie blockaded the portable toilets to prevent villagers and activists from using it. 

The gendarmerie also attacked those who wanted to install and use the toilets by using batons. 

During the intervention of the gendarmerie, two people were detained while one of them was dragged to the ground. 

What had happened?

Since 2019, the 740-decare Akbelen Forest and the İkizköylü village have been threatened by plans to extend coal mines. In 2021, the locals filed a lawsuit against the company YK Energy, a joint affiliate of IC Holding and Limak Holding, which is known to have close ties with the Turkish government, for the annulment of the project.

During the judiciary process, courts have several times ruled for the suspension of the coal mine project, but the company refused to abide by these court rulings.

For the last three weeks, the tree cutting process has been accelerated and those who protest against it saw the harsh attack of the gendarmerie teams regardless of their age. 

The gendarmerie have been attacking activists and villagers by using pepper spray in the faces of them from close range and firing gas cartridges in the forested area during scorching heat.