Court issues fourth stay of execution for thermal plant project in Kaz Mountains
Serkan Ocak ISTANBUL / RadikalA local administrative court has issued a stay of execution for the fourth time to halt the construction of a thermal coal plant project in the middle of the Kaz Mountains, in the northwestern province of Çanakkale’s Karabiga district.
The court ruled during a hearing May 15 that the environmental impact assessment report (ÇED) contained shortcomings and failed to evaluate the entire consequences of the plant in the area.
The project had been halted in the past on the grounds that the plant would be located too close to residential areas and would have a negative impact on farm fields.
The company, CENAL Elektrik, subsequently divided the project into four with as many separate ÇED reports to bypass the stay of execution. The company’s strategy paid off at first as two of the four new impact assessment reports, regarding the energy plant and the deep sea discharge system, received the green light.
But in its latest ruling, the court said dividing the project was incompatible with the law, arguing that the project could cause irreparable environmental damage.
The lawyer representing Greenpeace in the case, Deniz Bayram, denounced that most power plant projects in the region were continuing despite a stay of execution and annulation rulings issued by the courts.
“A ruling issued last year had already said the project would cause irreparable damage to nature. Dividing the ÇED reports does not reduce the environmental impact and it is also incompatible with the law,” Bayram said.
The Kaz range, located along the northern coast of the Aegean Sea, is known for its untouched nature, but also its richness of its resources. Many thermal plants and metal mine threaten the region, which has also become one of Turkey’s centers of eco-tourism.