August 7, 2019
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Canada-based Alamos Gold, Inc should end the eco- massacre in Turkey now!
Nearly 200,000 trees slaughtered, water supply disrupted, ecosystem shattered
We are calling individuals, other NGOs and officials to oppose Canadian mining company Alamos Gold’s plans to mine gold in Turkey’s Kaz Mountains (or Mount Ida, as mentioned in Homer’s Iliad) using cyanide, a lethal toxin that comes with serious risks of spills or leaks.
Alamos Gold already cut down over 195,000 trees with permission from Turkish authorities, a number that is four times as large as the number declared in the Environmental Impact Assessment Report. Turkish government’s environmental track record has been dismally negligent, systematically destroying many forests around the country since the early 2000’s. sources. In fact, is in denial about the internet
The Law on Mines, amended after 2002 as a result of wrongful policies, granted mine exploration licenses, which were converted to operating licenses by the holding companies soon thereafter. Locals in Canakkale region of Western Turkey, where Mount Ida (Kaz Mountains/Kaz Daglari in Turkish) and Turkish environmentalists raised their concerns over the deforestation starting back then, organizing protests and taking legal action. But the development of the gold mine started even before the court decision.
Turkish Ministry of Forestry and Agriculture environmental catastrophe taking place under their supposed watch. Their ability to suppress the public’s right for transparency and information about these developments is abetted by the government’s near-total censorship on media and
the ministry has been the chief enabler of many other instances of catastrophic deforestation taking place in other parts of Turkey, all in the name of economic development. Another example is the cutting down of about 10,000 trees in order to build the 1,000-room presidential palace on public land against protective court orders.
As of August 5, more than 5,000 people of all ages, including children and many elderly, started gathering on the outskirts of the town of Kirazli near the mining site; peacefully and successfully protesting the environmental pollution with the support of the Municipality of Çanakkale, where the mine is located. The protesters aim to “Pressure Alamos Gold, Inc. to recognize its environmental responsibilities, step down from the project and leave the Ida forests alone!”
The project which was approved in March 2019, already had an enormous negative impact on the environment. The mythological and historical treasure, Ida Mountains/Kaz Daglari, which is the mountain that is mentioned in the Iliad ofHomer, in the eighth century B.C., is one of Turkey’s most outstanding areas of natural beauty, and it is the second most oxygen producing mountain in the world. With its pristine forests, one thousand springs, it is home to 18 mammal species, 41 bird species, 10 reptile species, 117 insect species, and 283 plant species. The future of humanity depends on protecting and preserving the habitats that wildlife need in order to survive…We need to protect our natural assets and hand them down to future generations!
Our associations are proud to promote the political philosophy for international prosperity and peace of the founder of the Turkish Republic Mustafa Kemal Ataturk (1881 -1938), who was an avid environmentalist, and even had his mansion building moved to prevent a sycamore tree from being moved. The mansion located in the northwestern province of Yalova was originally constructed in 1929. Atatürk saw the mansion during a yacht trip and rested under the shadow of the plane tree growing beside it. The branches of the tree had begun to damage the mansion over time, and the gardener proposed trimming them, but Atatürk ordered the mansion be moved instead. It was moved four meters to the east. As the children of the republic which was created by such a sensitive environmentalist, we cannot allow the current government destroy so many of this republic’s natural resources!
Mount Ida/Kaz Mountains Solidarity Group said this about the project run by Canada’s Alamos Gold: “the gold mine is bound to damage one of the most significant biodiversity hotspots in Turkey. The drainage basin of the Atikhisar Dam, the only source of potable water in Çanakkale, will be directly affected by the mining process. The whole city runs the risk of losing the one water supply in case of accidents.”
The Board of Directors of
Ataturk Society of America- ASA and Ataturk Society of United Kingdom- ASUK
As world citizens, help us raise awareness on this matter. We ask for your attention in this matter by signing the petitions AGAINST THIS PROJECT IN TURKEY!