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Reactions to hydropower projects in Turkey alter processes

HDN | 5/3/2010 12:00:00 AM | ISTANBUL – Radikal

Efforts by a Turkish platform fighting hydroelectric power plant projects on rivers near the Black Sea city of Rize have yielded positive results for environmentalists.

Efforts by a Turkish platform fighting hydroelectric power plant projects on rivers near the Black Sea city of Rize have yielded positive results for environmentalists.

A stay of execution was issued for the Environment and Forestry Ministry’s decision that Ambarlık 1 and 2 Regulators and the hydroelectric power plant project on the Salarha Valley do not need Environmental Impact Assessment, or EIA, reports.

The ministry had issued the decision concerning the project, conducted by REDAŞ Elektrik, on Oct. 15, 2009, after which Küçükçayır villagers, supported by the river-preserving platform, Derelerin Kardeşliği Platformu, filed a suit at a Rize court to annul the decision and seek a stay of execution. The court decided April 20 that the EIA decision would create damages when implemented.

Besides this decision, the court has also annulled a committee’s conclusion that it was too late for a request to convert the Senoz Valley in Çayeli district into a protected nature area following a hydroelectric power plant project.

In order for the valley to become a protected nature area, 11 of 12 village heads in Senoz applied to Trabzon’s committee to preserve the valley’s cultural and natural assets on June 26, 2008. The committee announced its decision on Nov. 18, 2009. Derelerin Kardeşliği Platformu filed a suit at the Rize Administrative Court to annul the decision.  

While issuing a stay of execution on March 30, the court said, “Decision-makers may face legal liabilities, as taking decisions without sufficient research and investigation may create irreparable damages.”

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