Locals rally against land expropriation for industrial-scale wind plant near İzmir

Locals rally against land expropriation for industrial-scale wind plant near İzmir

Locals rally against land expropriation for industrial-scale wind plant near İzmir

Wind turbines are pictured near the Aegean resort town of Çeşme. Locals from Marmariç have launched a campaign against a large wind power plant, arguing that it could lead to the expropriation of villagers' property and damage the local economy. DHA Photo

A group of villagers are rallying against the threat of an urgent land expropriation for the construction of an industrial-scale wind turbine power plant near Marmariç, in a rural area in the province of İzmir.

Locals have expressed their support for the use of renewable energies, but said the scale of the plant may put at risk the practice of permaculture, for which the area has become renowned in recent years.

“There is a problem with the scale of the project. Companies build large, industrial-sized turbines in order to make profits. But it is impossible to live your life next to them” says Fatih Bakır, the head of a Turkish research center on permaculture founded in Marmariç in 2005.

The institute provides training on permaculture and tries to increase the use of techniques that suit the area’s natural ecosystem.

“We argue in our training programs that the energy we need should be provided by renewable sources, such as wind and the sun. But when we learned that there will be a wind plant here in Marmariç, we observed that it is not clean at all,” Bakır told online news website Bianet.

Bakır denounced the fact that the project would encompass the entire village, a detail that he says was not included in the plans submitted in the presentation files. He added that villagers’ properties could be at threat of expropriation.

Yander, the company responsible for the project, intends to build wind turbines higher than 100 meters over an area of 1,600 hectares that will need to be deforested for this purpose. 

Meanwhile, locals have opened a lawsuit against the Environment Ministry and its decision to not request an environmental impact assessment report (ÇED) for the construction. They have also launched a petition on change.org, urging the suspension of the project.

Yander is not the only wind turbine power plant project in the area. A total of nine companies have acquired licenses to build wind plants in the nearby villages.

Locals living in one of those villages, Çınardibi, have also opened a lawsuit against an urgent land expropriation decision for a wind plant project by Borusan EnBW.