PROTEST AGAINST GOLD MINING AT MOUNT IDA

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Baklava Mag: Recently, everyone is talking about how the Canada-based gold mining company “Alamos Gold” destroying the northwest of Turkey. Tell us what’s on at Mount Ida and around.

Büşra​: Apart from the Canada-based “Alamos Gold”, there are two German companies and a Turkish one which destroy the natural resources and put the region in danger. The number of the trees that have been permitted by the “Environmental Impact Assessment Report (ÇED)” was 45.000; however, the number has increased to 195.000 today in a sudden. We are all aware of the fact that it is not going to be the end. The project is designed to run for six more years, which also represents the number of the years that we have to deal with the spreaded acid, cyanide, radiation and arsenic on air. The members of the government who are in charge of the current actions should have immediately face with the facts and take action.

Baklava Mag: Have you been in the protests against the devastation? What do you think about the ongoing “The Great Water and Conscience Meeting”?

Büşra: Yes. We had already planned a camping trip to Çanakkale before all those protests happened. When we heard about about the protest, we made a call for the protesters in order to give them ride to the region; but I would like to emphasize that being exist in the region is not the only way to raise your voice. There is no way for us to ignore the effort and support of all those people who deals with tough conditions in Turkey. Most people are not able to be there since they are struggling with various challenges including financial issues. Anyway, we didn’t spend the night there.

Baklava Mag: How about the locals in the region? What do they think about those actions and protests?

Büşra: They are extremely sad. I felt like I lost my mind when I walked by an old man who cries in front of the destroyed trees. Unfortunately, being sad does not bring the trees that has been cut down. We have to raise our voice all around the country. The locals are immensely angry and confused. They are willing to take action collectively so that they can survive; that is the main reason for them to support the protesters.

Baklava Mag: Collective awareness platforms are full of campaign regarding to that issue. Do you think they will result in a way that is desired by the protesters?

Büşra: Today, it is impossible for us to deny the power of social media. The greatest example of its power was the Gezi Park protests in 2013; however, it is a must to discuss the sustainability of those campaigns and platforms. I mean, what we have changed so far by signing a campaign on digital platforms? I literally think that it is not more than an easy way for hiding ourselves in our comfort zone. What I strongly believe is that the collective movement is the answer for a continuous solution.

Baklava Mag: There is an undeniable polarization between those people who run against of the destructions as well. What do you think about that?

Büşra: This is something that has to happen. First and foremost, we all have to accept that every single thing that we do and don’t do is political. There is no need for us to stay away from the political stage and to develop some kind of a phobia. What happened in Mound Ida is not the first political action as well. There is going to be more of that since the exploitation culture is permanent and an unbreakable part of the politics. Even the existence or non-existence of those trees are the results of politics. Being apolitical is not the option in this case. We should always keep in mind that one of our most fundamental rights is the freedom of political struggle. If today is not the day, then when is the day for us to raise our voice? We should keep resisting.

Baklava Mag: Do you have one last thing to say for our followers?

Büşra: Keep resisting for the victory of hope over darkness. We are the ones who has the opportunity to save the nature, the humanity and the universe. Au revoir!✨