Locals of Dersim (region around Tunceli in the East of Turkey) are preparing for a big protest meeting on Saturday (10 October) against 6 dams and 8 hydroelectric power plants which "will leave history and culture under water".
The meeting is organized by Munzur Aydın and the Artists Platform, the Tunceli Associations Federation and the Munzur Environment Association side by side with left-wing socialist parties and groups, business organizations and with support of the local governments.
The Tunceli representative of the Human Rights Association (HRA) lawyer Barış Yıdırım said that this organization is "the largest mass protest after the military coup on 12 September 1980" and urged everyone to participate in the meeting.
The dams and power plants are planned for the Munzur stream, which flows through the national park of the Munzur Valley. This region is home to 227 endemic plants. Also populations of certain animals are unique to this region.
The dam project initially emerged in 1960 and was finished in 1987. In 1998 it was decided to realize the project. Currently only the construction of the 'Uzunçayır' dam has been completed. The 'Mercan' hydroelectric power plant is also under construction. The State Council accepted the local lawyers' request for an annulment of the cabinet's decision in favor of the project. However, after the State Water Works had filed an appeal the project could proceed. Activists brought the decision before the European Court of Human Rights.
One of the objections against the project points out that the generated power corresponds to less than 1 percent of Turkey's annual production but destroys nature, life and social structures. (EÜ/VK)
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