Protest marks ground breaking ceremony for Turkey’s first nuclear power plant

Protest marks ground breaking ceremony for Turkey’s first nuclear power plant

Neşe Karanfil - MERSİN
Protest marks ground breaking ceremony for Turkey’s first nuclear power plant

A group of protesters have locked the attendees of the ground breaking ceremony for Turkey’s first nuclear power plant to protest the construction of the plant in the southern province of Mersin.

Environmentalists from Mersin’s Gülnar neighborhood locked the iron doors of the nuclear facility in the Akkuyu district on April 14, isolating several guests and journalists. 

Carrying banners comparing the Akkuyu power plant with Japan’s Fukushima power plant, protesters had gathered near the venue hours before the ceremony for the ground breaking of the future plant’s marine hydro-technic facilities.

According to CNN Türk television, police called on the activists to halt the protest and unlock the doors, as “they had already managed to make their voices heard by the media.”

When demonstrators refused to oblige, police briefly used a water cannon on some of the protesters. They unlocked the door and ended the protest after 20 minutes.

Protest marks ground breaking ceremony for Turkey’s first nuclear power plant

Russia’s Rosatom will build and operate the Akkuyu power plant, which will have a life-span of 60 years, at a cost of around $22 billion.

Turkey’s Cengiz Holding, one of the partners of the consortium that will build Istanbul’s massive third airport, had won the tender to build the marine hydro-technic structure for Turkey’s first nuclear power plant.