Last update:

Artvin Cerattepe and Genya Mine, Turkey

Residents of Artvin, a small town in the North-eastern Black Sea region in Turkey continue to resist the opening of a dangerous gold and copper mine in the Cerattepe area since more than 20 years. After years of resistance, the conflict is still ongoing

This case form has been translated for your convenience by voluntary translators. Therefore, they may contain errors. Any discrepancies or differences created in translating this content from the original version into another language are not binding and have no legal effect. If any questions arise related to the accuracy of the information contained in these translations, please refer to the original version of the case in: Turkish


Residents of Artvin, a small town in the North-eastern Black Sea region in Turkey continue to resist the opening of a dangerous gold and copper mine in the Cerattepe area for more than 20 years. After years of resistance, several mining companies, and several court rulings against the project, the conflict is still on-going.

See more
Basic Data
Name of conflict:Artvin Cerattepe and Genya Mine, Turkey
Location of conflict:Artvin
Accuracy of locationMEDIUM (Regional level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Mineral Ores and Building Materials Extraction
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Water access rights and entitlements
Mineral ore exploration
Specific commodities:Silver
Project Details and Actors
Project details

In the previous plans, the project had the aim to mine the gold, silver, zinc and copper, with an open pit method. However, after the cancellation of the EIA due to the adverse effects of gold mining and leaching, the project is renewed by the company.

See more
Project area:4,406
Level of Investment for the conflictive project25,000,000
Type of populationSemi-urban
Affected Population:35000 to 170000
Start of the conflict:1995
Company names or state enterprises:Özaltın Holding from Turkey
Cengiz Holding from Turkey - Cengiz Holding rents the mine from Ozaltin İnsaat.
Relevant government actors:Ministry of Environment and Urbanization
Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs
Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:TEMA Foundation
Green Artvin Association
Artvin local CSO's
Artvin Bar Association
Karadeniz İsyandadır Platform
Brotherhood of the Rivers Platform
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Social movements
Trade unions
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of mobilization:Blockades
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Hunger strikes and self immolation
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, 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
Health ImpactsPotential: Accidents, Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Occupational disease and accidents, Other environmental related diseases
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Militarization and increased police presence, Violations of human rights
Potential: Displacement, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place, Loss of livelihood, Other socio-economic impacts
Other socio-economic impactsLoss of income
Project StatusPlanned (decision to go ahead eg EIA undertaken, etc)
Conflict outcome / response:Corruption
Criminalization of activists
Court decision (victory for environmental justice)
Court decision (undecided)
Strengthening of participation
Violent targeting of activists
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:The local residents have managed to prevent any attempts to open the mine since more than 20 years, in that sense it is a success. However, the plans for mining projects are still on going. The court case is still going on, as well.
Sources & Materials
Juridical relevant texts related to the conflict (laws, legislations, EIAs, etc)

Forestry Law
[click to view]

European Landscape Convention
[click to view]

Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora
[click to view]

Mining Law
[click to view]

Convention on Biological Diversity
[click to view]

Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats
[click to view]

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

Effects of Mining Activities in Artvin Cerattepe and Genya on Natural Resources
[click to view]

Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects' Cerattepe Report
[click to view]

Artvin Çoruh University Faculty of Forestry's Report
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Green Artvin Association's petition
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Cem İskender Aydın, TEMA Foundation, [email protected]
Last update18/08/2019
Conflict ID:2224
Legal notice / Aviso legal
We use cookies for statistical purposes and to improve our services. By clicking "Accept cookies" you consent to place cookies when visiting the website. For more information, and to find out how to change the configuration of cookies, please read our cookie policy. Utilizamos cookies para realizar el análisis de la navegación de los usuarios y mejorar nuestros servicios. Al pulsar "Accept cookies" consiente dichas cookies. Puede obtener más información, o bien conocer cómo cambiar la configuración, pulsando en más información.