Turkey: gold diggers ruining nature in Ida range

According to satellite images roughly 200,000 trees have been felled and sources of drinking water sullied in the Ida Mountains in northwest Turkey. In March a Canadian mining company received a license to dig for gold in the region. Conservationists are up in arms and many commentators are upset - but not all of them about the trees.

Open/close all quotes
T24 (TR) /

Canadian imperialism

It's double standards to take environmental protection so seriously in one's own country while disregarding it so flagrantly in another, T24 rails in view of the Canadian company's initiative:

“In the Canadian city of Toronto there's a park with many trees. ... One of them is rotten. ... And the decision to cut it down takes fifteen days! ... People who consider the tiniest details for a single tree in their own country destroyed according to official accounts - which are of questionable accuracy to say the least - 13,400 trees in one go in Turkey. Together with the entire ecosystem. That is a very clear form of exploitation! It's the spirit of imperialism!”

Yeni Akit (TR) /

Conservationists in the service of our enemies

Ali Karahasanoğlu challenges the protesting conservationists in the pro-government daily Yeni Akit:

“If they really cared about the environment and weren't merely pawns in a game between foreign powers, I'd be fighting alongside them tooth and nail... But when the media groups that organise these protests stirred up America against Turkey just a week ago with headlines like 'S-400 sanctions imminent', when gold reserves in the US, Venezuela, Canada, and even Africa, are mined without any of the discussion that's taking place in Turkey, it's clear that we're simply furthering American interests. ... This whole conflict is merely aiding the West.”

Cumhuriyet (TR) /

Government using up last remaining resources

The government has already exhausted its financial resources so all it has left are its natural ones, Cumhuriyet complains:

“Why is the government turning to this programme now? The answer is simple: it has no other resources because it has privatised all the factories and companies. And it can't cash in on its construction projects anymore either. Now it has also lost the financial resources of the biggest municipalities to the opposition. Consequently it is compelled to exploit the forests, coasts, fields, gardens, education, healthcare and all our public assets even more than before. ... In this way the plundering of nature is playing an ever greater role.”

Sözcü (TR) /

Even the Canadians would protest

The people of Canada would side with the Turkish conservationists if they knew the truth about what's going on, Sözcü is convinced:

“The Canadian company even wants to start activities in areas where it might not look for metals for the next 15 years - for fear it could be prevented from doing so in the future. ... If Canada could see what this company is doing, the public there would also go onto the barricades. The Canadians must be informed about what this company is doing to our water sources and the area around the dam. Reports about the complete destruction of the landscape have been reaching us from all sides.”