Aliaga Thermal Power Plants, Turkey


The thermal power plant in Aliaga Nemrut Heavy Industrial Zone was ruled out by court decision 22 years ago. In the intervening period, the area has been contaminated by negligently increasing investments such as 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). On top of these, 7 planned thermal power plants (4 are natural gas fired) cause further conflict. Among the plants, the EIA of two coal fired ones got approved while another started being constructed upon obtaining building license. Court cases against both of the thermal power plants continues; objections to the expert opinions have been refused and on 26th June 2012 the case has been reviewed by the 2nd Administrative Court of Izmir and was refused.

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Basic Data
NameAliaga Thermal Power Plants, Turkey
SiteAliaga, Izmir
Accuracy of LocationMEDIUM regional level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Oil and gas exploration and extraction
Coal extraction and processing
Thermal power plants
Oil and gas refining
Specific CommoditiesNatural Gas
Crude oil
Manufactured Products
Chemical products
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsExisting natural gas and oil fired thermal power plants: 2080 MW.

Coal fired thermal power plants whose EIA were approved: 1150 MW (Pending court cases).

Planned thermal power plants approximately 1500-2000 MW.

Type of PopulationSemi-urban
Potential Affected Population4-5 millions of people
Start Date1989
Company Names or State EnterprisesIDC
ENKA from Turkey
PETKIM from Turkey
Relevant government actorsMinistry of Environment and Urbanization, local authorities, (Dikili, Menemen 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 (EGEEP), 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
Industrial workers
Local ejos
Landless peasants
Social movements
Trade unions
Recreational users
Local scientists/professionals
Trade chambers, villagers
Forms of MobilizationCreation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Development of alternative proposals
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
Referendum other local consultations
Street protest/marches
Arguments for the rights of mother nature
Appeals/recourse to economic valuation of the environment
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), 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: Desertification/Drought, Genetic contamination, Soil erosion, Waste overflow, Oil spills
Health ImpactsVisible: Accidents, Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Occupational disease and accidents, Deaths, Other environmental related diseases
Potential: Malnutrition, Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide
OtherPoisoning land and waters
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Displacement
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCourt decision (victory for environmental justice)
New legislation
Application of existing regulations
Court decision (failure for environmental justice)
Violent targeting of activists
New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
Criminalization of activists
Development of AlternativesHeading towards renewable energy sources
Do you consider this as a success?Not Sure
Why? Explain briefly.The attempt of thermal power plant in 1990 has been halted by council of state decision.

EIA process of the 2010 project continues, 2nd Administrative Court of Izmir has refused the relevant objections and can further go to the Council of State, court cases are pending.

The EIA process of 2012 is ongoing; the others are uncertain.
Sources and Materials

Facebook group of FOCEP:
[click to view]

Blog of FOCEP:
[click to view]


One Million people sadi No in Izmir (in English):
[click to view]

[click to view]

Police Attacked Villagers after Protesting Thermal Plant (in English):
[click to view]

Media Links

Milliyet (Newspaper):
[click to view]

Other CommentsMajor actions against the plants have been taken several times, in 1989, 2010, 2012.
Meta Information
ContributorBahadir Doguturk on behalf of BOG
Last update08/04/2014