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Chrome mine not in tourism zone, says Turkish culture ministry

Marmaris: Dogan News Agency | 1/18/2010 12:00:00 AM | Doğuş Esat Berme

The Ministry of Culture and Tourism has rejected a request to shut down a mine in the Hisarönü village in Marmaris.

The Ministry of Culture and Tourism has rejected a request to shut down a chromite mine in the Hisarönü village in Marmaris.

The request came from the Marmaris Environment and Tourism Volunteers Group. Filiz Ersan, president of the group, held a press conference in Marmaris alongside other environmentalists and said the ministry stated that the mine is not within the borders of the tourism zone. Chromite is mainly mined for chromium, which is used to make chrome plating and an important ingredient in stainless steel.

Ersan recalled that they sent a petition in October to the ministry’s Directorate of Investments and Establishments that pointed to the damage that would be inflicted on the environment if permits were granted for mine research. In response, the ministry said no permission was granted for mine research or operation in the tourism zone and the chrome mine is not inside any of the tourism zones under protection.

Ersan said the location of the chrome mine should be considered within the tourism zone and offered information they have received from experts on the chrome element being mined by dynamite. Ersan said the mine is just 360 meters from a garbage dump. “There is the possibility of coal gas being compressed since the stocking area is not rehabilated. A great disaster is possible because of the explosions that could happen while mining. Besides, we are absolutely against the opening of a mine in this area with young trees. We will do everything in our power to prevent it.”

Ersan said tourism and the environment would be badly affected during transportation of the mined element. “Will they transfer their chromite ore by air, sea or land? We have only one road and the tourists and the local people use it. They cannot transfer the chromite in trucks on this road. If it is transferred by sea, then it would also hurt tourism considerably. It is against the principles of navigation to have yachts and cargo carriers side by side.” Ersan said they will take legal action if necessary and they will carry out protests if the legal action is unsuccessful.

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