The protest against the Uzumlu cement works is gaining strength. Read Fiona Robsons latest update for the low down.

The protest against the cement factory is gaining strength as each day passes. On Thurs 6th Sept, the Turkish working party and myself, representing the ex-pat committee, met with the Vali from Mugla whilst he was on a visit to Saklikent. We handed him a comprehensive brief and the petition which is over 1200 signatures.

He listened with interest and said he would read it thoroughly. An AKP member from the Mugla local Government was with him and we learned that on Wednesdays 5th Sept that the subject had been raised in the local government meeting and the result was 80% supporting our fight. Great news but we must still work on the other 20%.

Weds 5th Sept was a scramble by the working party with some locals from Incirkoy to get down to Fethiye to object to a Health and Safety warning that was posted (in a remote corner?) by the Incirkoy Muta . It had a life of 5 days which ended yesterday but due to its hidden location we were very lucky that a “friend” of the cause spotted it! This gives you an idea of what we are up against but we hope we got our objections in on time.

Also on Thursday a group of Turkish and ex-pats, about 50 in total, had an appointment with the Uzumlu Belediye to again hand in the petition and try to get them to take firm opposition to the cement factory because  their attitude until today has been “not interested”.  After listening to the protestors the Mayor gave us his support and invited us to stay and talk to the main Council during their meeting. This we did and we left with the full support of Uzumlu Belediye. This is a great boost to the fight and we left them with the thought, do they want industry or tourism to dominate Uzumlu because once one cement factory goes ahead others could follow.

{mosimage}A meeting was also held on Weds 5th Sept at the Fethiye Architects bureau attended by representatives of the building engineers, architects , hoteliers, small traders, estate agents, Tursab & TEMA
All of these signed their support for the protest, copies of which were attached to the petition being given to Vali (area governor from Mugla) when we met on Thursday 6th September.

They were briefed about the proposed plans as found online and the fact it failed to mention Uzumlu (the most affected area) or people or produce growing, or the fact that the emissions are likely to affect Nif and further.

All agreed that Uzumlu is the wrong place for such heavy industry and whilst Fethiye does not have a strong identity for tourism (no 5 star hotels comparable to Antalya for example) it is a cross between that and agriculture and is not really suitable for industry.

Some folk will be working on permission to see Halil Uran in custody to ‘talk him out of it as friends’.  But plans for legal action will still go forward and the TEMA representative suggested that we should look in detail at permissions to ensure they are correct.

The meeting decided to hold a press conference with the above representatives next Tuesday 11th Sept at 2pm in the Esnaf Sanatlaar Odasi (on the Migros Road) with press coverage so all are welcome to come along and support the protest.

The next step is instructing lawyers but the protest is gaining support daily from locals, ex-pats and various organisations.

The attitude is very positive and we will continue to fight it where ever necessary.

Fiona Robson