Aliaga Industrial Conflicts, Turkey

Description
Aliaga is a heavily industrialized area on the coast of the Aegean Sea. Due to high rates of pollution, the region is almost a death zone. Aliaga district has been contaminated by negligently increasing investments. Among these are oil refineries, petrochemical and waste incineration facilities, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) filling facilities and storage tanks, hazardous shipbreaking yards, ports, imported coalyards, junkyards, fertilizer factories, rolling mill plants, 6 arc furnaced iron steel facilities, hazardous factory waste grounds, iron steel sub-industry and casting facilities, logistics facilities, 3 natural gas and oil fired thermic power plants. When one takes into consideration the Bakircay region, the northern axis of Izmir has been completely discarded with the pollutions of Bergama gold mine, Maltepe organized leather industrial zone, paper mill and Aliaga Organized Industrial Zone (ALOSBI). Increasing investments that are ongoing for 30 years have long exceeded their sustainable limit. 6 arc furnace iron steel factories operate next to each other and a seventh one is being planned. The region has also become uninhabitable with the rolling mill plants and sub-industry facilities. Furthermore, the project threatens the 3000 year old ancient town of Kyme, the posidonia meadows in Nemrut Bay, the water catchment area and forests in the Ilipinar Golyuzu area with the oxide layers, dross and furnace flue dust that will be released.

Basic Data
NameAliaga Industrial Conflicts, Turkey
CountryTurkey
ProvinceIzmir
SiteAliaga
Accuracy of LocationMEDIUM regional level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Industrial and Utilities conflicts
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Chemical industries
Ship-breaking yards
Landfills, toxic waste treatment, uncontrolled dump sites
Metal refineries
Incinerators
Manufacturing activities
Specific CommoditiesRare metals
Copper
Sand, gravel
Electricity
Uranium
Toxic Waste
Lead
Industrial waste
Asbestos
Natural Gas
Coal
Recycled Metals
Crude oil
Steel
Iron ore
Zinc
Aluminum/Bauxite
Manufactured Products
Chemical products
Asphalt
Project Details and Actors
Type of PopulationSemi-urban
Potential Affected Population4-5 million
Start Date1975
Company Names or State EnterprisesPETKIM from Turkey
Turkish Petroleum Refineries Co (TUPRAS) from Turkey
Ege Fertilizer Co. from Turkey
Viking Paper and Cellulose Co. from Turkey
Relevant government actorsMinistry of Environment and Urbanisation, local authorities (Dikili, Memenen and Foca Town Councils, Union of Aeagean Coastal Municipalities, Karliyaka Municipality)
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersFoca Environment and Culture Platform (FOCEP), Aegean Environment and Culture Platform (EGECEP), Aliaga Democracy Platform, TMMOB, Greenpeace, Izmir Bar Association
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Local ejos
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Women
Recreational users
Local scientists/professionals
Villagers, trade chambers
Forms of MobilizationCreation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Development of alternative proposals
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Media based activism/alternative media
Objections to the EIA
Public campaigns
Referendum other local consultations
Street protest/marches
Appeals/recourse to economic valuation of the environment
Impacts
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Desertification/Drought, Fires, Food insecurity (crop damage), Global warming, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Soil contamination, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity, Mine tailing spills
Potential: Genetic contamination, Waste overflow
Health ImpactsVisible: Accidents, Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Malnutrition, Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Occupational disease and accidents, Deaths, Other environmental related diseases
OtherPoisoning of Land, Water, Food
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Violations of human rights, Loss of landscape/sense of place
OtherLoss of income, difficulties in access to water
Outcome
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCorruption
Criminalization of activists
Deaths
Migration/displacement
Violent targeting of activists
Development of AlternativesThe alternative solution is to immediately review the current situation, not to allow any new factories and ensure effective monitoring through the rehabilitation of existing facilities. Energy intensive and low value-added arc furnaced iron steel factories should no longer be allowed. Immediate closure of hazardous shipbreaking yards and waste incineration units, removing dangerous factory waste disposal sites from forested areas, putting junkyards to enclosed spaces and the rehabilitation of existing facilities.
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.There are no ongoing litigations. Neighbourhood rights lawsuits are still pending.
Sources and Materials
Legislations

After the new planned development ideals put forward by the 1961 constitution, Aliaga was declared as one of the heavy industry zones in the mid 1960s. This declaration is commonly known as 'Declaration of the heavy industry zone.'

References

Facebook group for FOCEP:
[click to view]

FOCEP Website:
[click to view]

Report by TMMOB Izmir Branch 'Aliaga Area Evaluation Report', June 2012 (in Turkish):
[click to view]

Academic article 'Air pollution in Izmir' (by Prof Abdurrahman Bayram, in Turkish):
[click to view]

Greenpeace report, 2002, in Turkish:
[click to view]

Sponza D, Karaoglu N., Environmental geochemistry and pollution studies of Aliaga metal industry district.
[click to view]

Links

News on sea pollution in Izmir, in Turkish:
[click to view]

Hurriyet, in Turkish,
[click to view]

Greenpeace report on shipbreaking yards in Izmir, in Turkish:
[click to view]

News on the view of the Environment Commission of the Parliament, in Turkish:
[click to view]

Media Links

FOCEP Facebook group:
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorBahadir Doguturk on behalf of BOG
Last update08/04/2014
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