After mothers, now it’s time for the forests

After mothers, now it’s time for the forests

Forestry Minister Veysel Eroğlu said they would not a take a step back about the mine slated to be opened in Cerattepe in Artvin. We would have been surprised if he had told us the opposite; this statement is normal.

It’s normal because the company of the person who uttered ugly words about the mothers of the nation in phone recordings in the Dec. 17 and 25, 2013, graft probes and the money he is said to be earning from this business is more important for this government than nature or what the local population wants. 

Minister Eroğlu said the mine would operate according to a “closed gallery” system, meaning no trees would be cut.

“Despite this, there has been black propaganda saying there will be an open system and that trees will be cut down. As a matter of fact, water will be brought from somewhere else. The managing firm should explain to the public that the closed gallery system will inflict no damage.”

They won’t explain it, so let me do it for you. 

Yes, the mine will operate as a closed gallery, and the product will be processed in Murgul. But what has been neglected is that clearing the region containing the mine galleries and an aerial line to transport the gold will result in 3,500 trees being felled.

The damage to be caused by the environmental pollution of the aerial line on nature is also excluded from this figure.

It is also a secret as to how many trees will be cut down to carry water from afar. Also, some three to five meters of the surface soil needs to be removed to reduce the risk of a landslide.

As a matter of fact, there is no need to discuss this in so much detail. The forestry minister need only to head online and look at the photos of copper mines in various places around the world. 

Which of them retains trees and which of them has preserved the natural environment?

‘Small but mine’ 

Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) chair Devlet Bahçeli’s “tactic” against his opponents who want to hold a party convention has been disclosed – of course, if we can call this a “tactic” because the road he is traversing is the most frequently trod path in these matters. 

As of Feb. 23, 16 of the organizational branches who demanded an extraordinary convention have been closed. This figure might have risen by the time you read this. 

The party administration is making use of clauses in the party statue to cleanse the party. This is the situation of our political parties; they do not have any tolerance for democracy within their organizations. The MHP is not the first example, and as long as the Political Parties Law is not amended, it will not be the last.
If there is a similar event in CHP, they would surely take the same path. The same goes for the AKP. The essential reason why the political picture has not changed for years is this. Leaders, as if they have not lost enough elections, are holding onto their seats and waiting for another election defeat. 

The reason any amendment to the Political Parties Law has not been brought up is that party leaders are quite happy with the situation. This is actually a tradition from Anatolian craftsmen: Let it be small but let it be mine. 

Insufficient measures

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has announced measures to fight the shrinkage in tourism. These measures may compensate for some of the losses, but they will be inadequate in terms of solving the issue. 

The biggest problem in mass tourism is that Russia is no longer permitting charter flights. The number of tourists coming from that country was already falling because of their economic crisis but nevertheless it was an important market. 

Now, everybody knows that there are major drops in European bookings also. Europeans are afraid to visit Turkey because of the Syrian war, the refugee problem and bomb attacks. 

Nobody is even mentioning a comprehensive promotion and public relations campaign explaining that in the majority of Turkey, life is normal and that there is nothing preventing a vacation.

Turkey indeed has a vast economy that will not go bankrupt if it loses one season in tourism; however, the cost of this spreading to future years could be too big for the sector to meet. 

It seems necessary that a comprehensive promotion and PR campaign should be launched as soon as possible, taking into account not only this season but coming seasons as well.