Gerze Coal Burned Thermal Power Plant, Turkey

Description
Anadolu Group has applied to the Energy Market Regulatory Authority (EPDK in Turkish acronym) for the planned coal-fired thermal power plant to be constructed near Yaykl village in Sinops Gerze district and obtained production license on 20.11.2008. Legal struggle was started by the local communities on the grounds that the plant will alter the ecological and socioeconomic structure of the region in irreversible ways. Despite the Council of States motion for stay of execution decisions in filed lawsuits, Anadolu Group continued the ground study in the EIA process. In March 2011 machinery was stopped from entering the site and crew sent by the company for the study was prevented to access the site by the local people. In August 2011, uninterrupted guard duty was started in the region by the local communities. On 22.08.2011, two excavators accompanied by the gendarmerie arrived to the region; however their entry was blocked again by the local people. On September 2011, the companys excavators came once again to the site with the gendarmerie and police and this time local people were intervened by intensive tear bombs. Nevertheless, the local community refused to leave the area; resistance actions of 11 hours made the machinery back off. During the incident 26 people were wounded and legal action was taken. About 150 people were left on the ground; they were charged with uncompliance to the Law of Meetings and Demonstrations. It was said that their resistance impeded duty, and damaged property. In May 2012, the Ministry of Environment and Urbanisation has stopped the EIA process pertaining to Gerze Energy Plant due to the fact that the intended area for construction partially falls in forest land.

Basic Data
NameGerze Coal Burned Thermal Power Plant, Turkey
CountryTurkey
ProvinceSinop
SiteGerze, Yaykil
Accuracy of LocationMEDIUM regional level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Coal extraction and processing
Thermal power plants
Specific CommoditiesCoal
Electricity
Project Details and Actors
Project Details
Total installed capacity (electricity): 1200 MW Type of fuel: Imported coal diesel (booster fuel). It is foreseen that the plant consumes 9432 ton of high calorie coal daily. It is envisaged that the coal to be used in the plant will be imported from Russia and South Africa.
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Level of Investment (in USD)1000000000
Type of PopulationSemi-urban
Potential Affected Population the project affects the entire world population
Start Date11/2008
Company Names or State EnterprisesAnadolu Group from Turkey
Relevant government actorsThe Ministry of Environment and Urbanisation, Energy Market Regulatory Board, Provincial Directorate of Forestry, Sinop Governorship, Sinop Provincial Directorate of Agriculture, Gerze Municipality
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersGerze Culture and Tourism Association, Gerze Philanthropy Association, Gerze Association of Kemalist Thought, Gerze Villageheadmen Association, Gerze Association of Grey Wolves (a political group), Gerze Community Centre, Gerze Municipality, Gerze Municipal Council, Gerze Town Council, Gerze Municipality Youth Council, Republican Peoples Party District Organization, Democratic Left Party District Organization, National Action Party District Organization, Democratic Party District Organization, Rights and Equality Party District Organization, Labour Party Provincial Organization, Education and Science Workers Union, Turkish Education and Science Workers Union, BES, Education and Science Employees Union, Educators Association, Gerze Fisheries Cooperative, Gerze Sport Club, Gerze Tradesmen Sport Club, Gerze arsi Group (associated with Besiktas Sports Club)., Greenpeace, Greens Party, Ecology Collective, Turkish Medical Association, Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects, Freedom and Solidarity Party, Turkish Communist Party, Brotherhood of Rivers Platform, The Black Sea Uprising Platform.
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)HIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingSocial movements
Women
Fishermen
Local ejos
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Trade unions
Farmers
Local scientists/professionals
International ejos
Local government/political parties
Villagers Trade Chambers
Forms of MobilizationBoycotts of official procedures/non-participation in official processes
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Occupation of buildings/public spaces
Impacts
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Global warming, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Health ImpactsPotential: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Other environmental related diseases
OtherPoisoning (potential)
Socio-economic ImpactsPotential: Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
OtherReduced access to water
Outcome
Project StatusStopped
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCriminalization of activists
Court decision (victory for environmental justice)
Repression
Violent targeting of activists
Project temporarily suspended
Development of AlternativesDue to the fact that Sinop receives lots of wind, the alternative of wind farm has been proposed to meet the energy demand of the region.
Do you consider this as a success?Not Sure
Why? Explain briefly.According to the explanation of the chairman of the Anadolu Groups board, the company has so far spent 15 million USD for the project.

Although the Ministry of Environment and Urbanisation has stopped the EIA process due to the fact that the intended area for the plants construction partially falls in forest land, the company did not announce abandoning the project. Therefore, the conflict arising from the Gerze Thermal Power Plant remains unclear.
Sources and Materials
Legislations

Environmental Impact Assessment Regulation,

Bylaws on the preservation, use of agricultural lands and land consolidation,

Law Numbered 1380 on Fisheries, -Code of Protection of Cultural and Natural Assets,

Decree Law numbered 48,

Law of Meetings and Demonstrations

Links

Gerze Olay
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Corporate Watch
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Sendika
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Bianet
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GES
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Facebook page
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Greenpeace (Turkish)
[click to view]

Campaign Stand With Gerze: Stop the Mega Coal Plant!
[click to view]

Radikal: CED cikmazsa ustune bir bardak su iceriz (Turkish):
[click to view]

Gerzede yarg kararlarna karn termik santral tehdidi sryor:
[click to view]

Todays Zaman
[click to view]

Media Links

Gerze termik santral sondaj eylemi
[click to view]

Gerze Termik Santrali-Biber Gazinin Tadina Baktik
[click to view]

Daily Motion
[click to view]

Videos from Protests in Gerze, Turkish:

Other CommentsA social opposition has been formed against the thermal power plant intended to be constructed in Gerze by the Anadolu Group. While on the one hand legal struggle is continuing against the plant, protests are ongoing on the other. The conflict has surpassed the regional and national borders, made it as news to corporate watch website, was mentioned by Greenpeaces General Director Kumi Naidoo during his visit to Turkey and appeared in the website of 350, a global grassroots movement to solve the climate crisis.

Even though the plans regarding the plant have been stopped for now due to its potential negative effects on Sarikum Nature Reserve, the conflict has not yet been resolved.
Meta Information
ContributorMahir Ilgaz
Last update08/04/2014
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