Turkish popstar Tarkan backs villagers' protest over coal mine expansion in fire-hit Milas

Turkish popstar Tarkan has expressed his support for villagers and environmentalists protesting a coal mine expansion project by a pro-government company in the Aegean province of Muğla's fire-stricken Milas district.

Villagers and environmentalists have been keeping a watch over Akbelen forest against efforts to cut trees to expand the coal mine in the area.

Duvar English

Turkish popstar Tarkan has thrown his support behind locals who have been protesting plans to expand a coal mine in Akbelen forest in the southern province of Muğla's Milas district. 

“Environment massacrists who are after profits do not take the warnings of the climate crisis seriously and continue to destruct our forests. Our forests all over our country are being massacred. Leave the environment alone. Wake up now!” Tarkan tweeted on Aug. 10, sharing footage showing the gendarmerie's attack against villagers protecting Akbelen forest.

In the middle of the night on Aug. 9, the gendarmerie attacked villagers who have been keeping a watch over Akbelen forest against Limak Holding.

The company has recently tried to take advantage of the forest fires to cut down trees to expand the coal mine in the area, which has been supplying coal to the nearby Yeniköy Thermal Power Plant. 

Locals later started a sit-in to prevent the destruction of forest lands and said that they will file a complaint against the company for cutting trees in an area that doesn't even belong to it. 

However as their sit-in was continuing, locals faced a brutal gendarmerie intervention on the night of Aug. 9 and were dragged outside the forest lands. The gendarmerie later set up barricades around the resistance area.

Villagers and environmentalists have emphasized that they will continue their resistance despite efforts to wear them down.