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Green activists, and their livestock, send Turkish miners packing

Turkish fauna comes to the aid of flora as thousands of protesters — and their livestock — send a mining company packing, at least for now.
A digger works on the stream bed of the river Papart in Artvin province, northern Turkey, February 21, 2010. A civil initiative calling themselves "Brotherhood of the Rivers" is struggling to stop hydro power plant projects in Artvin province which they believe will damage the natural habitat badly. Turkey's Electricity Market Regulatory Authority has approved 357 hydro power plant projects in the last three years, said Turkey's Chamber of Electrical Engineer.  REUTERS/Umit Bektas (TURKEY - Tags: ENERGY ENV
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On the easternmost edge of Turkey’s Black Sea coast lies Artvin, a small province of 100,000 people known for its high per capita rate of higher education and its proclivity to leftist activism. Artvin’s picturesque forests are cited among the world’s top 100 in terms of natural riches, lying on a bird migration route and boasting a diverse ecosystem and endemic flora.

No wonder Artvin attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists each year. In the eyes of governments and companies, however, Artvin is a place where billions of dollars lie underground in the form of unexplored ores. This clash of viewpoints has for years made Artvin a base of resistance against mining projects, the biggest and most striking of which erupted Feb. 15.

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