Campaigners who fought off a bid to extend a quarry and build a cement factory and asphalt plant in the mountains above Fethiye have confirmed plans for a summer fundraiser.

The most recent application may have been quashed when authorities blocked the proposals on environmental grounds.

However, the campaign’s legal team have warned that doesn’t rule out further applications and have stepped up the pressure by applying to the courts to have existing quarrying operations shut down.

Campaigners turned out in force in May when the applicants arranged a meeting to outline their proposals for expansion.

Back To School Bash

As a result, those who have supported the fight against development so far have pledged to continue to raise money to cover legal costs.

The Winehouse in Üzümlü will therefore be hosting a “Back To School Bash” on the evening of Thursday, July 4 – a celebration of successes so far to include a barbecue and dancing to tunes from the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s played by DJ Umit Kasım. Tickets for the evening cost 75tl per person.

Dave Roue – spokesman for the Üzümlü Environment Protection Group set up to coordinate resistance among non-Turkish nationals and to liaise with local Turkish protestors – said everyone involved in the campaign was grateful for support so far.

The risk remains

However, he warned it would be wrong to assume the recent setback would be a permanent deterrent for the quarrying companies.

“It seems, even though they are aware of the olive grove laws and know where they are located, the companies still continue to apply for licences just in case there isn’t an objection,” he said.

“The law itself is quite specific and is there to prevent any kind of industrialisation within three kilometres of an olive grove.

“However, it does not stop opportunist applications and, if no objections are raised, then a licence will be granted.

“The committee continues to need everyone’s support and can’t do it alone without the majority of people behind them.”

Mr Roue said leaflets will distributed in the area soon to help underline the campaigners’ case with more fundraising events planned in the autumn.

“The Üzümlü Environment Protection Group is committed and determined to help the local Turkish group, Dağ Taş Aş Bizim Platformu, in ensuring the air we breathe, the food we eat, the water we drink and the flora and fauna are free from contaminants.

“We hope as many people as possible will join us for what promises to be a fun evening on July 4 at the Winehouse.”

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