PM to meet Artvin delegation amid ongoing mine tension
Serkan Ocak – ANKARA
AA photoTurkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu is set to meet with a delegation from the Black Sea province of Artvin on Feb. 24, in a bid to resolve ongoing unrest over plans to build a new mine in Artvin’s Cerattepe district.
Upon a call by the members of the Green Artvin Association, Davutoğlu will meet a delegation that includes Green Artvin Association head Nur Neşe Karahan, lawyer Bedrettin Kalın, Artvin Mayor Mehmet Kocatepe, Artvin provincial party leaders from the Justice and Development Party (AKP), the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), and a number of other local politicians and notables.
The meeting comes amid ongoing protests over a controversial gold mine plan in Artvin’s environmentally pristine Cerattepe district.
Facing determined resistance from hundreds of protesters, police and gendarmerie forces fired tear gas on Feb. 17 to disperse demonstrators who erected barricades, set rubbish bins on fire and made bonfires with tree branches in an endeavor to block the construction work in Cerattepe, an area in the alpine meadow of Kafkasör, Agence France-Presse reported on Feb. 17.
On Feb. 21, the Artvin Governor’s Office controversially banned all entry to the province as protesters arrived to support hundreds of locals resisting against the plan to construct a gold mine that could severely damage nature in the region.