GREEN >Lawyers demand recusal in controversial mine plan case in Turkey’s north

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The party plaintiff lawyers in the case of a controversial mine construction in the Black Sea province of Artvin demanded recusal and abandoned the hearing room on Sept. 19 amid intense security precautions.

The lawyers demanded recusal on the grounds that the court would not make decisions under extraordinary conditions during the six-hour summary trial held in the Black Sea province of Rize.

The lawyer of the party plaintiff, Bedrettin Kalın, told reporters that they had witnessed many obstacles in the province, as some clients were not allowed entry to the province.

Kalın said they had been searched five times before arriving at the courthouse, adding that a significant number of people had also been stuck on the road.

Accordingly, he noted that the principle of right to access justice and the publicity of the courts had been violated by such precautions and obstacles, leading to their recusal demand.

Security forces conducted intense searches and road checks in the province ahead of the hearing, one day after the governor’s office banned rallies and protests in the province for a month.

Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy chairman Zeynep Altıok, who attended the hearing, said the party would side with locals to the end in their judicial struggle.

Meanwhile, the court was expected to make its decision on the recusal demand within a month.

A company’s efforts to extract minerals in the environmentally pristine Cerattepe in Artvin within a 38-hectare area had created massive outrage, with hundreds of protesters resisting the company’s efforts.

An expert report by the Environment Ministry dubbed an environmental impact report (ÇED) had outlined a number of methods by which environmental detriments could be minimized during the construction of the mine in Cerattepe.

A total of 751 people and 61 lawyers had filed a lawsuit on July 8, 2015, for the halt and cancelation of the report’s implementation, marking the country’s biggest environment lawsuit.

September/19/2016

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