Black Sea town faces environmental destruction due to hydroelectric power plant

Pelin Akdemir / DUVAR

Turkey’s Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning determined that a second environmental impact assessment report would not be required for a hydroelectric plan project in the Black Sea district of Şavşat, although a regional court cancelled the first report for the project.

Locals are planning to appeal the ministry ruling to defend Şavşat, famed for its natural beauty and is a member of the international Cittaslow network.

The court cancelled the report regarding the project, which threatened to harm the drinking water and irrigation water of 28 villages in Şavşat and Ardanuç, both in the province of Artvin, bordering Georgia on Turkey’s northeastern Black Sea coast.

The company behind the project is owned by Selahattin Akyurt, Artvin’s former governor. 

“The court cancelled the report because it saw serious violations. In spite of these violations, within fifteen days, together with the project promotion file it was decided that an environmental impact report was not necessary,” said Şavşat Associations Federation chairman and lawyer Halis Yıldırım, adding that the subsequent decision essentially renders the court decision dysfunctional.

“The people of the area are very determined. They will definitely not allow the construction of a hydroelectric power plant,” said Tahsin Yazıcı of the Kireçli village, saying that the villagers would use their democratic rights. 

Reiterating the fact that Şavşat is a member of Cittaslow, Yazıcı said that the hydroelectric power plant puts that designation in danger. 

“Italy gave that title to Şavşat’s air, nature and highlands. Filling them with cement and building a hydroelectric power plant creates the risk of losing the title,” Yazıcı said. 

from Duvar English
via I

About CHP EU Representation

The CHP was founded on 9 September 1923, about one and half month before the proclamation of the Republic of Turkey. The first President of modern Turkey’s oldest party was M. Kemal Atatürk. Today CHP is a social-democratic party, member of the Socialist International and associate member of the Socialist Group at the European Parliament. The scope of the CHP bureau in Brussels is not limited to the bilateral framework of Turkey's EU accession process. Issues such as the information society, energy policies, social development, climate change, international trade and security are among the different focus areas. The EU-Turkey relations are about integration and need multiple, plural and horizontal channels of communication. The CHP supports and promotes Turkey's EU membership process also by being more present and active in Brussels The CHP's Representative to the EU is Ms Kader Sevinç who previously worked as an MEP advisor at the European Parliament and in the private sector.
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