A letter has been sent from Turkey’s Ministry of Environment and City Planning to the Muğla municipality indicating it does not consider the application for geothermal exploration in the Fethiye and Göcek area to be acceptable.

The document refers specifically to the six sites between Ölüdeniz and Gemiler which prompted an outcry among locals and businesses in the area.

More than 20,000 people had already signed a petition against the application – originally reported to have been approved already by the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources.

Muğla’s deputy Mürsel Alban and Mayor, Alım Karaca, held a joint press conference in Kayaköy a week ago to confirm their opposition own to the proposals and to promise they would fight to plans by all legal means possible.

However, within a few days, reports suggested the project faced opposition at the highest level as well.

Yesterday, Fethiye Times was able to view the letter from the Ministry of Environment and City Planning, which expresses opposition and urges the Muğla administration to respond outlining its own next steps.

The document confirms the drilling would not be deemed acceptable “because the activities planned are within the Delicate Areas under Absolute Protection, and these activities will damage the integrity of the flora and fauna” which include two rare species of tree.

Gemiler, Darbogaz and St Nicholas Island. Picture by Steve Parsley.