Campaigners have been drawing up fresh battle plans to fight a new bid for mining in the countryside close to Yeşil Űzűmlű, Korukoy and Incırkoy.

An application for a quarry and concrete plant in the same area were quashed just 18 months ago and residents had hoped the decision would deter companies with similar plans.

However, two fresh applications to mine chromium in two more environmentally sensitive areas near Incırkoy have emerged in recent weeks.

Blasting

It is understood one of the proposed mines is a traditional excavation into rock faces. The other is an open-cast operation.

Campaigners fear the latter may involve blasting with high explosives, eventually destroying a hill top that overlooks Incırkoy.

Exploratory work has already been conducted by the mining companies. Both sites are close to both traditional Turkish homes and new-build projects which residents fear could be at risk from noise, dust and pollution.

The open-cast mine is also not far from an area known locally as the Honey Forest, dedicated to a number of different plant and herb species intended to encourage bees into the region. Olive groves and at least one major vineyard could also be close enough to be affected by pollution.

Initial meeting

At an initial meeting held on Monday (January 11) at Incırkoy Village Hall chaired by Ebru Aksoy, attendees included the muhtars of Korukoy and Incırkoy, members of the local environmental groups and lawyer Bora Sarica, who assisted residents in the fight to block the quarry plans.

Manager and food engineer from the Beekeepers Union of Mugla, Yasin Kırgız, reminded those attending that the region is one of Turkey’s few specific bee variety cultivar zones and a bee forest as defined by related government ministries.

The area is also home to a number of important crops including lavender, sage, thyme, almonds and olives, medicinal and aromatic plants, a host of small-scale family farms as well as tourism businesses which would be adversely affected by the proposed mines.

Debate at the meeting focused on why the proposed mines would be detrimental to the area, methods which could be used to raise awareness of the plans and how locals can object.

Due to Government restrictions it is not possible to arrange physical protests but, should it prove necessary, there will be an opportunity to sign a petition, details of which will be announced in due course.

One of the locations being considered for mining