Locals stage protests against planned thermal plant in Istanbul’s Silivri

Locals stage protests against planned thermal plant in Istanbul’s Silivri

Locals stage protests against planned thermal plant in Istanbul’s Silivri

DHA photo

Local residents staged demonstrations against thermal power plant projects planned to be constructed in the Silivri district of Istanbul province and the Çerközköy district of Tekirdağ, Doğan News Agency has reported.

Villagers living near the planned construction areas carried banners reading, “The number of cancer patients will increase,” “Our waters will get dirty and then drain away,” and “Our children will be born disabled” at the June 4 protests.

“Insisting on construction of a thermal plant here amounts to nothing but perilous ignorance,” Silivri Municipality Mayor Özcan Işıklar was quoted as saying during a press conference in the nearby Çayırdere neighborhood.

“The planned plant covers an area of 4,850 decares in Çerkezköy and 6,100 decares in Silvri. That means the thermal plant is planned to be constructed on 10,000 decares of land, bigger than the center of Silivri itself,” Işıklar added. 

Saying the Çayırdere neighborhood was rich in forest and underground resources, he stressed that thermal plant construction would damage nature in the area “as much as if an atomic bomb has been dropped.”

“Çayırdere is the last place that should be chosen for a thermal plant construction … These lands are the most important site of underground water basis in the Thrace region, the most important water basin in the 300 km area between Istanbul and Lüleburgaz,” Işıklar said, stressing that the planned coal-fired thermal power plant will pollute the water resources.

The Silivri district produces its own energy needed for the cultivation of land from solar and wind power, the mayor said, adding that research showed the district had “richness to last forever” in terms of energy production. 

Rumors that the government halted the power plant project do not reflect the truth and drilling work is still continuing, Işıklar also said. 

“We think there is an unhealthy rent-seeking going on here, with the potential prospect of constructing new residences here [to make money],” he added. 

Çerkezköy Municipality Mayor Vahap Akay was also present at the press conference. 

“We live on the same land and our struggle is the same. Our legal struggle, which we initiated seven months ago, is continuing. But we need a massive mobilization [in this struggle]. We need to protect our air, water and land,” Akay said.

Cevahir Efe Akçelik, the general secretary of the Istanbul provincial coordination committee of the Union of Chambers of Engineers and Architects (TMMOB), reportedly said the planned thermal plant was against the 44th and 45th articles of the Turkish Constitution, so the TMMOB was taking legal action against the project.