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Gold mining: rebellion of environmentalists


Turkey is protesting against gold mining. For Erdoğan, profit is more important than nature.

Read the Turkish original here. The text has been edited editorially for the German version.

According to legend, Dionysus, the god of wine, once promised King Midas that he would fulfill his every wish. Midas wished that he could turn everything into gold, what he touched. Soon he could not eat and drink, and Midas realized how ominous his power was.

In Turkey, debates have been going on for weeks about the mischief that has plagued the gold deposits in the country. Near the ancient Troy and one of the most beautiful landscapes in the country, the Canadian company Alamos Gold has begun mining gold. Recent aerial photographs from this paradise with 283 plant species and 117 insect species document terrible environmental destruction.

The Ida Mountains, Turkish Kazdağları, gave the region earlier air, water and life. Now it is a giant construction site of 600 hectares with cleared peaks.

Environmental organizations say that instead of the approved 45,000 trees, 200,000 have been cut down. The local population, the community, environmental organizations and artists are resisting with a "vigil and watch", but behind the barbed wire continues to be cut down. Environmentalists complain that soon the ecosystem and the health of local residents could be massively damaged.

In addition, the Ida Mountains is only one of many hundreds of mineral deposits, were allowed for the soundings. For a total of 3,500 hectares, other North American companies such as Newmont or Teck Cominco were granted permits.

Experts say the licenses granted would not benefit the economy, but would turn the environment into hell.

In addition to the clearing triggered the statements of Alamos Gold protests. Managing Director John McCluskey explained to Bloomberg TV why his company was active in Turkey because of the high profit margin, government subsidies and because the Turks could transport stones so well. McCluskey has invested around $ 100 million in Turkey over the past nine years. With this "modest investment," it exploited around three million ounces of gold (worth over $ 4 billion) in the initial exploration. The CEO's statement that the Turks were well-suited to quarrying and transporting stones was perceived as the "praise of the exploiter."

The artist Zülfü Livaneli has been UNESCO's Special Envoy for the past ten years and now calls the organization to an emergency action: "It is an attack on the material and immaterial property of our world." In view of this extermination campaign against the people of the Ida Mountains we need yours Help."

In 2015, residents in Cerattepe on the Black Sea had won a lawsuit against environmental destruction, which was then legally operated by Canadian companies. After the verdict, the government granted a mining company the mining permit - there were conflicts between population and gendarmerie, so that the army had to intervene. Back then, the Erdoğan media claimed that German foundations were behind the environmentalists. Erdogan's thesis was that Germany, which has a large part of the world's gold reserves, although it does not itself promote anything, tries to prevent the mining of precious metal in Turkey.

It is instructive to see Erdoğan's "nationalist reflexes" now failing when it comes to international capital and personal returns ...

The environmentalists of Turkey show great commitment to nature against greedy domestic and foreign return hunters. This leads to the realization that the consciousness for the protection of nature must become global as well as those that destroy our earth for profit. Otherwise, like King Midas, we will realize that we can not eat and drink the mined gold when nature is destroyed.

From the Turkish by Sabine Adatepe

Source: zeit

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