Campaigners fighting plans for a quarry in the mountains above Yeşil Üzümlü and İncirköy have vowed a protest attended by around 500 people over the weekend is “just the start” of their battle to halt the proposal.
Families and farmers concerned about the impact of the stone quarry on their everyday lives were among the crowds enjoying picnics in Sunday’s sunshine amid banners and waved placards urging the authorities to intervene in the application.
But spokeswoman Zeynep Ebru Aksoy said, if the protest is to remain sustainable, then it needs to take a proactive role in promoting positive aspects to life in the area rather than simply reacting to controversial plans to exploit its natural resources.
“We have to create a long-standing sense of community,” she said. “To do that, we need to inspire more awareness of the values of the region.
“Sunday was a beginning but we need to arrange similar events at least once a month, whether it’s a walk or a meeting.”
The next event on the calendar is the annual Yeşil Üzümlü Mushroom Festival to be held this year between Friday, April 5, and Sunday, April 7. The campaigners will have a stall present to explain their objectives.
A guest speaker from Germany will also visit the region on Sunday, April 14, to lead classes on plants which grow in the area and which are often used in herbal remedies or for medicinal purposes.
“But we hope people who feel as we do about the risk the quarry poses to the area will keep an eye on our English and Turkish Facebook pages and support the events we have planned,” said Ebru.
“Public pressure is important and, by supporting us, they can help us over the weeks and months to come.”