Proposal cancelled following locals’ reaction to quarry on Aegean island of Gökçeada
ÇANAKKALE – Doğan News Agency
Following locals’ reaction to a potential quarry construction on the Aegean resort island of Gökçeada, the relevant engineering and consultancy company has withdrawn their application for an environmental impact assessment (EIA or ÇED), which had been submitted earlier to the Environment and Urbanization Ministry.
The firm’s decision came after daily Hürriyet published a news report on March 29 regarding the case, acknowledging locals’ reactions to the construction of a sandstone quarry on the island’s tourist neighborhood of Kaleköy.
Gökçeada Mayor Ünal Çetin said they were pleased with the firm’s decision.
“In the previous days, a proposal had been prepared for the construction of a sandstone quarry. The project has been withdrawn by the relevant firm. This is an important development for Gökçeada. We are very pleased about the withdrawal [of the ÇED application file] and thereby, the salvation of one of the most important tourism destinations of the island, Kaleköy, from [potential] damage,” Çetin.
In a statement, the Environment and Urbanization Ministry’s Çanakkale Provincial Directorate has said they have approved of the firm’s cancellation of their application dated March 29, following the necessary analysis.
“The authorized owner for the operation of the quarry has indicated they have waived the planned investment [for the quarry’s construction] due to economic reasons,” the provincial directorate has added.
“Our quiet island will continue to stay quiet… No problem… #Gökçeada,” tweeted Justice and Development Party (AKP) Group Deputy Chairman Bülent Turan, representing his party from the Çanakkale province.
Gökçeada locals had become angered after the engineering and consultancy firm TEMÇED submitted an application for an EIA on March 1 with plans to produce 40,000 tons of quarry stone per year. In their report, the firm said the quarry would operate eight months a year, with 25 eight-hour working days every month.
Gökçeada is the first Cittaslow island in the world. Cittaslow is an organization that aims to improve the quality of life in cities by slowing down their overall pace, especially through their use of space and the flow of life and traffic through them.
The Cittaslow General Committee added the island to a network of slow-paced cities in Turkey in 2011.