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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.

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 Ilipnar Golyuzu area with the oxide layers, dross and furnace flue dust that will be released.

Basic Data

Name of conflict:Aliaga Thermal Power Plants, Turkey
Location of conflict:Aliaga, 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 commodities:Natural Gas
Crude oil
Manufactured Products
Chemical products

Project Details and Actors

Project details

Existing 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
Affected Population:4-5 millions of people
Start of the conflict:1989
Company names or state enterprises:IDC
ENKA from Turkey
PETKIM from Turkey
Relevant government actors:Ministry of Environment and Urbanization, local authorities, (Dikili, Menemen and Foca Town Councils, Union of Aeagean Coastal Municipalities, Karliyaka Municipality
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Foca Environment and Culture Platform (FOCEP), Aegean Environment and Culture Platform (EGEEP), Aliaga Democracy Platform, TMMOB, Greenpeace, Izmir Bar Association

Conflict & Mobilization

IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Landless peasants
Social movements
Local scientists/professionals
Local ejos
Trade unions
Recreational users
Industrial workers
Trade chambers, villagers
Forms of mobilization:Creation 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
Other Health impactsPoisoning land and waters
Socio-economical 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
Conflict outcome / response:Court decision (victory for environmental justice)
New legislation
Application of existing regulations
Deaths, Assassinations, Murders
Court decision (failure for environmental justice)
Violent targeting of activists
New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
Criminalization of activists
Development of alternatives:Heading towards renewable energy sources
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain: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 & Materials

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

Facebook group of FOCEP:

Blog of FOCEP:

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

One Million people sadi No in Izmir (in English):

Police Attacked Villagers after Protesting Thermal Plant (in English):

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Milliyet (Newspaper):

Other comments:Major actions against the plants have been taken several times, in 1989, 2010, 2012.

Meta information

Contributor:Bahadir Doguturk on behalf of BOG
Last update08/04/2014