PELIN – Marmara on the verge of ecological and urban destruction

Marmara on the verge of ecological and urban destructionThe Marmara regionand#39s ecology is under threat from urban construction projects and the interests of the mining industry. Every inch of the region is under attack from highways, thermal power plants, mines, industrial premises and construction projects from Edirne to Izmit, from anakkale to the Mount Ida and from Bursa to IIneada While the northern forests of Istanbul face irreversible damage, the same profit-driven mindset threatens fresh water swamp forests, mountains, meadows, rivers and agricultural fields.

In order to say andldquonoandrdquo to this destruction, people who fight for their olive groves, water, forests, vegetable gardens, parks and farming fields all around Marmara will hold a rally in Istanbuland#39s KadIky Square on Dec. 28 under the banner of a andldquoMarmara rally.

andrdquo Prior to the rally, a report was drafted with the cooperation of Northern Forests Defense and Istanbul Urban Defense to provide a full-fledged evaluation of the situation in Marmara The report will be extended in further studies. As it is, it paints a black picture.

Letand#39s take a look at the content of the report under a few subtitles:- Concrete handcuff to Marmara via andldquoolden Ringandrdquo: The new map of destruction for Marmara is drawn with the andldquoolden Ringandrdquo road project, which is claimed will reduce the time taken to tour around the Sea of Marmara to just four hours, and a European high speed train line that is set to be connected to it. The Golden Ring will start with the third bridge over Istanbuland#39s Bosporus Strait and the Northern Marmara Highway project.

According to a development plan, it will continue with a anakkale Bosporus Bridge between Lapseki and Gelibolu. The ring will continue with the Gulf Bridge that follows the Istanbul-Izmir highway and will eventually lead to the Sea of Marmara, requiring massive construction in the whole area- The burden of Istanbul will transfer to Trakya: The Golden Ring project, which means putting a concrete handcuff around the Marmara region, will be finalized with other construction projects in agricultural areas and natural assets of Trakya and the South Marmara provinces, which will be surrounded by the ring.

The project plans to move industrial areas in Istanbul to the north in the Trakya region, from orlu, erkezky, Saray and Luleburgaz. And in the South Marmara, the industrial facilities will be moved further south from Izmit, Sakarya, Yalova, Bursa, the KapIdaII Peninsula, anakkale and BalIkesir- Agricultural fields becoming worthless: Such developments would pose a great threat to the remaining agricultural fields and natural assets in the Marmara and Northern Aegean regions, where there is an abundance of thermal power plants.

With urban transformation, agriculture becomes worthless and the destruction on the natural environment exiles laborers from the fields. These laborers are left with no other option but working in mines, energy and construction, which do not provide safe working conditions.

This makes them potential victims of workplace accidents, similar to the ones Turkey saw in Soma and Ermenekand#39s coal mines.- Coasts and islands opened to construction: Large areas in the city centers of BalIkesir and anakkale are planned to be designated as development areas, including large stretches of natural coastal land.

The most significant among these areas are those that lie to the north of the anakkale Strait and in the Gulf of Edremit. Southern coastal areas of the two islands of Bozcaada and Gkeada, which are currently undeveloped, will be opened to tourism- Polluting industry spreads everywhere in Marmara: There are new investment projects for areas with abundant agricultural fields, forests and environmentally protected zones in Marmara The proposed 4,800-hectare industrial area for BandIrmaand#39s Erdek Gulf is likely to destroy the area between BandIrma and Biga There are currently 13 projects for new thermal power plants in anakkale alone.

Kocaeli and its gulf, where 33 percent of the local populationand#39s deaths are from cancer, a rate far higher than Turkeyand#39s average, is at the center of these new projects. The Dubai Port project in YarImca Port, thermal power plant projects for IIneada, Marmara EreIlisi, Iarky, KIyIky and Malkara, industrial areas planned for Luleburgaz and TekirdaI, the plan to open Strandzha (Istranca) to gold mining and a nuclear power plant project for IIneada are only a few parts of Marmaraand#39s nightmare.

In conclusion, Marmara is about to become a region where water basins are destroyed, agricultural areas are turned into industrial areas, whose coasts are commercial ports, enclosed by highway rings and thermal power plants. At a time like this, the Marmara rally on Dec.

28 is a very important effort to save the region.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman