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17.09.2008

Mining debate re-intensifies

Mining research may resume in magnesium reserves in the forests in the village of Osmaniye in Marmaris following the Muğla Administrative Court's review of the defense of the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources.

The court decision allowing Neslişah, which began researching the mine and sending work vehicles into the zone after a four-month break, drew protests from villagers, environmentalists and politicians, reported Doğan news agency.  

Muğla's legislature representative, Fevzi Topuz from the main opposition Republican People's Party, or CHP, along with members of the Marmaris CHP District Administration and individuals from environmental groups, went to Osmaniye to work with residents who were affected by the research. NecmettinYankol, an advocate for the community, spoke in the village coffee house where he said permission to mine had been revoked by the General Directorate of Mining Affairs, which is part of the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, after the decision to cease activities in May.

"The Ministry was in conflict with itself. Initially, they revoked permission from Neslişah and, later, their civil chamber submitted a defense for conducting mining research," said Yankol.

 "The Muğla Administrative Court had ordered to cancel the work and make a decision of enforcement to stop, which was the opposite of their first decision, without considering new research and expert opinions. This is wrong. I think Muğla came to a decision through political considerations. We applied to the Aydın Administrative Court when the case was concluded."

The Neslişah company began searching for magnesium reserves in the Osmaniye forest in January 2007. When 417 Calabrian pine trees were cut down, people opposed to the mining signed petitions and protested. They also appealed to the Muğla Administrative Court in April 2008. The court halted mining activities until a decision could be reached.