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BirGün April 26, 2018 Turkey

Judiciary said to stop but wind power is still in operation

The construction plan of the wind power plants (WPP) established in the natural site of 1st degree in Çeşme was cancelled but the facility is still open. Local people want power plants to be sealed.

Translation from Turkish by Dr Cengiz Erol (NAATI accredited translator)

The plans for conservation purposes for the WPP stations established in the natural site area at the 1st degree in Çeşme district of İzmir were cancelled by İzmir 5th Administrative Court. Those who open the case say that the active WPPs must be sealed as soon as possible.

The Energy Market Regulatory Authority (EMRA) issued production licenses in 2010 in Çeşme's Sarnıç region for a project for 49 years. For WPPs that are licensed by EMRA, 1/5000 scale conservation master building plans and 1/1000 scale conservation application development schemes were made. Twenty eight parcels of private property located in the place where 8 turbines will be established were expropriated urgently by the decision of the Council of Ministers. The owners of the property open a legal case in Izmir 5th Court on the grounds that the zoning plans are contrary to the principles of city planning and public benefit and not for conservation purposes. When the court decided against the plaintiffs, the proprietors of the property were found to appeal to the Council of State. The 6th Office of the Council of State dismissed the decision of the court stating that the cancellation of the development plans should be decided. İzmir 5th Administrative Court, which again looked at the case on this, abided by the decision of the Council of State and cancelled the development plans.

Activity expected to stop

After the property owners won the case against the development plans, the environmentalists and the plaintiffs demanded that the WPP activities be stopped. Esen Fatma Kabadayı, one of the defendants, said, “I live in Cesme for three generations. The company inflicted injustice and unlawful acts on these lands while the cases were underway. We have never found authority before us. Now we expect this facility to be shut down. This road has passed through the middle of my grandfather land. The first day we warned the company in front of their bulldozer. We have told them that we are suing them for all the administrative procedures and the permits granted to the company, and they have to wait for the outcome of these cases. But instead of waiting for the judicial decisions, the company entered into our lands. Compensation is causing damages that are not possible”, she said.

Authority out of reach

She said that Court had cancelled the development plans for the WPPs and that they wanted to see at least the authorized ones after this time. She affirmed that she wanted to be punished within the Anti-Terror Law (ATL) while struggling for his lands. Indicating that they are not afraid of anyone, Kabadayı said: “We now expecting official, legal and authorized persons to seal this facility. We do not want to see gendarme, police, and prosecutors anymore. We want the legal decision to be enforced.

The struggle has been going on for four years

One of the plaintiff, Madeleine Staaf Kura also stated that they have given legal battle for 4 years. Kura said that from the first days they did not have permission of the WPPs to settled, “They did not get their permission properly. Construction plans were cancelled after 4 years. They built it illegally. Urgent expropriation decisions were taken for the big lands in Çeşme. They tried to occupy the citizens' parcels. The company does not recognize any rules. We want this legal decision to be enforced. After that we will remove these turbines”, she said.

The public can be sick

Ahmet Güler, an environmentalist living in Çeşme, stated that the judicial decision made them very happy. Explaining that what they most desire is the application of this decision, Güler said: “We are expecting this disreputableness to be removed in a world of great natural beauty. The German company planted WPPs here is applying entirely different ethical rules in Germany. They can’t implement the same rules in Germany which they do in Turkey. They definitely does not comply the rules in Turkey that guarantee compliance in Germany and in the world. They bring and set up the WPPs in the bottom of nose of the nation. The devices are set up illegally and unlawfully, in such a way as to make the public sick.

Güneşi Saatli, one of the defenders of life in Çeşme, claimed that their lives had changed in a negative way with the WPPs. She expressed that the WPPs are closely related to human health and harm to nature, and she stated that they have struggled very much and that they reached the result of the lawsuits opened.

The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was again affirmed once again for the 37 turbine wind power plants planned to be established by a company in İzmir's Yaylaköy Mahallesi of Karaburun. Karaburun City Council and the people living in the district, open a case to the Izmir Administrative Court for the fourth time for the cancellation of the EIA decision.

In the written statement made by the Karaburun City Council, it was emphasized that the EIA cancellation decisions previously taken from the court are the result of the faithful and determined fighting that is given together to protect nature and habitats. The City Council stated that despite the cancellation of EIA's positive decisions, the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization and the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources was rapidly renewing production licenses and EIA permits, regardless of the cancellation grounds of court decisions.

Article of BirGün — April 26, 2018