Turkish environment minister defends criticized plant project in Black Sea port
Nuray Babacan HÜRRİYET / ANKARA
Minister Güllüce claims the thermal power plant in Amasra will be safe.The Turkish environment minister has defended a much-criticized plan to build a thermal power plant at the touristic Black Sea port of Amasra, but also admitted to having his own doubts.
Environment Minister İdris Güllüce has drawn a rebuff after his ministry approved the Environmental Impact Assessment (ÇED) report prepared for a coal-fired thermal power plant, giving a green light to the controversial project.
Answering criticisms that say the plant would damage the coastal town’s historic and touristic texture, as well as posing a great risk to the environment by causing the polluted air to be trapped, Güllüce said the project would be designed to prevent all of these risks.
“ÇED reports are given after a detailed review by a technical delegation. There are certain conditions [that need to be met] and they think the project won’t harm the environment and nature if the company builds the plant according to these conditions,” he said while chatting with reporters at Parliament.
Seeking to soothe critics of the project, the minister called on the public to focus on benefits.“There is very important coal underground and Turkey needs to use that coal. If the facility is modern and operated in line with environmental protection principles, there won’t be any damage [done to the environment],” he insisted.
However, the minister still admitted to having a dilemma while approving the report, acknowledging the criticism.
“I am aware of the political responsibility. I think about that, too. However, I have to think for the whole of Turkey. This is the grave dilemma of this age. Everybody wants everything. You want electricity, you want to use a phone, but at the same time you don’t want the presence of an energy station,” he said.