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Environmental problems provoke protests on all fronts in Turkey

The Justice and Development Party government’s policy of ignoring environmental concerns cause tensions in Turkey.

In May 2013, Turkey was shaken by mass protests that were labeled as the Gezi Park uprising. In the beginning, there were only a few tents erected by environmentalists in Gezi Park in Istanbul to prevent the cutting down of some trees. After a harsh police intervention where tents were set on fire, millions of Turks took to the streets across the country in an unprecedented social movement. Some of the protesters are still in prison and being tried.

Nowadays, tensions are running quite high once again on environmental matters with protests, campaigns and strong reactions across the country. Thousands of protesters staged demonstrations on the outskirts of a small town in the northwestern province of Canakkale over the Kirazli Gold Mine Project owned by Dogu Biga Mining, the Turkish subsidiary of Canada-based Alamos Gold, after disturbing images of clear cutting in the Ida Mountains shared on social media sparked public outrage. Alamos Gold allegedly cut down 195,000 trees, four times more than it declared in the environmental impact report. 

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