Probe opened against 56 people who protested hydroelectric plants in Black Sea town
TOKAT – Doğan News Agency
DHA PhotoA public prosecutor has opened an investigation against 56 villagers in the Black Sea town of Zile who protested against three hydroelectric power plant (HES) projects in their city.
On March 15, some 2,000 protesters marched against the HES projects planned on Çekerek River in the Zile district of Tokat province while security forces set up barricades and used tear gas against them.
A prosecutor opened a probe against 56 people on charges of “resisting public servants,” “restricting the right to transportation,” “damaging property,” “restricting the right to work,” “injuring intentionally,” “violating the law on demonstrations,” “insulting” and “threatening.”
The Zile Municipality has also become a complainant in the probe on the ground that its buses, which were allocated for the use of gendarmerie forces on that day, were also damaged. Some of the 56 people have started to give their testimonies to the prosecutor’s office as part of the probe.
The villagers, accompanied by associations who had come from Istanbul, began to march toward the construction site of the three HES projects after gathering in the Zile district on March 15, chanting slogans and carrying banners demanding a halt to the projects.
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Tokat deputy Orhan Düzgün, CHP Istanbul deputy Melda Onur and CHP provincial chairman Dursun Aytaç were among the protesters.
Gendarmerie forces built a barricade in front of the construction site in order to prevent protesters from entering the area. The main road linking the village to the Zile district was also closed to traffic and riot vans were deployed to the area. However, the villagers moved off the road and took to the fields to continue their march.
In response, gendarmerie forces confronted the villagers in order to prevent them from reaching the construction site, occasionally firing tear gas at them.