Locals, environmentalists protest Turkey’s third nuclear plant in İğneada
Erdinç Çelikkan – ANKARALocals and environmentalists have reacted to Turkey’s decision to construct a third nuclear plant in the country’s northwestern region of İğneada, which is famous for its floodplain forests.
Turkish Energy Minister Ali Rıza Alaboyun said on Oct. 14 that a third nuclear power plant was slated to be built in the İğneada region in the province of Kırklareli, which borders Bulgaria to the north.
Yaşar Mersin from the İğneada Nature Representatives Group said not only would the natural life in the region be threatened by the power plant construction, but that Istanbul would also face a great threat as İğneada was just 100 kilometers from the metropolis.
“The distance between a village of ours and the border to Bulgaria is 500 meters. Therefore, the neighboring country also needs to approve,” Mersin said.
Stating that there was a great habitat and floodplain forests in the region, Mersin said the floodplain forests were the world’s biggest, at 3,515 hectares, after the Amazon, adding that there are only three floodplain forests in the entire world.
Some 258 bird varieties of the total of 453 that are found in Turkey are in İğneada, said Mersin, adding that there were 670 different plants and 668 kinds of special animals in the area.
Baran Bozoğlu, the head of the Environment Problems’ Research Center, said new species were being discovered in İğneada.
Moreover, just as rainforests are very crucial for their regions, floodplain forests are also very crucial for Turkey and the region, Bozoğlu said.
An international NGO to save the environment, Greenpeace, has initiated a petition against the construction of the third nuclear power plant, stating that it would be “an attempted suicide” due to safety deficiencies in the power plant.
Greenpeace has previously conducted petitions against Turkey’s two ongoing nuclear plant constructions in Akkuyu and Sinop.