`More Olive Groves Leveled in Turkey to Make Way for Power Plants


More Olive Groves Leveled in Turkey to Make Way for Power Plants

Dec. 5, 2014
Olive Oil Times Staff

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(Photo: Mücadele Gazetesi)

Cut­ting down olive trees is becom­ing a more com­mon occur­rence in Turkey. This week a local news agency reported that 50 olive trees were rooted out” in the Yıl­mazköy coun­try­side, in Aydın.

Will we use elec­tric to feed peo­ple? This is wrong.- May­mut Nedim Barıs

A pri­vate com­pany bought the land to build a geot­her­mal power plant that will replace the famous cen­turies-old olive trees that pro­duce the (locally) famous olive oil of Efeler,” named for the dis­trict.

The com­pany tried to pur­sue the project under secrecy, but in recent days decided to stop mow­ing down the plan­ta­tions as the reac­tion of local farm­ers, upset by the com­pa­ny’s lack of trans­parency about its plans, became louder, attract­ing the atten­tion of local media.

Mah­mut Nedim Barış

An offi­cial com­ment came from May­mut Nedim Barış, the Pres­i­dent of Agri­cul­ture Engi­neers Cham­ber of Aydın, who asked How can we feed peo­ple in the future? Will we use elec­tric to feed peo­ple? This is wrong.”

This is the sec­ond case of olive trees being uprooted in this Aegean region in recent weeks. The vil­lage of Yırca, where a high num­ber of trees were recently sac­ri­ficed to estab­lish a ther­mal power plant, is not far from Yıl­mazköy.


A few months ago Sep­tem­ber, in Soma, a city sadly known for a recent mine tragedy, farm­ers woke up and found high wire fences sur­round­ing their olive trees.

The action drew protests includ­ing from pas­sion­ate locals and Green­peace Turkey. A social media cam­paign was launched in sup­port of pro­test­ers, using #Pro­tec­tO­live­Trees and #Zey­tin­imiKesme hash­tags on Twit­ter, until the Coun­cil of State decided to sus­pend the ther­mal power plant project.

Turkey, one of the world’s most impor­tant pro­duc­ers of olive oil, aims to boost its sec­tor dur­ing a par­tic­u­larly chal­leng­ing time for its econ­omy. Crit­ics say the recent trend, if allowed to con­tinue, could impact Turkey’s olive oil pro­duc­tion, as well as its image.

(Photo: Mücadele Gazetesi)

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