Through felled olive trees, a farmer in Yirca (Soma) Turkey removes a barbed-wire fence from his land after plans for a new power plant were put on hold. (Photo: Greenpeace Turkey)

In the end about 6,000 trees were uprooted Friday (November 7, 2014) in Yırca, Turkey by Kolin Construction bulldozers to make way for a new power plant.

Clashes again erupted between villagers and the private security forces hired by Kolin to ensure the demolition went forward.
See more: Farmers and Police Clash in Turkey Over Clearing of Trees
“This is a defeat for us but we will not leave our land,” said Yirca mayor Mustafa Akın in an interview with CNN Türk.

“How are they going to swallow the last olives and olive oil our people and our trees produced for them?” he asked.

But suddenly, the same day, the desperation turned to celebration when the villagers learned of a decision by the Council of State to suspend the thermal power plant project.

Friday night there was celebration in Yırca, within walking distance of some 6,000 trees laying on the ground in piles. Villagers said it was the most important, the saddest and the happiest day of their lives.


Behind their defiant mayor and with help from Greenpeace activists and volunteers, Yirca villagers stood against the further destruction of their livelihood, and they are already starting to rebuild, planting this weekend small trees in the ground they defended.

(Photo: Greenpeace Turkey)

More articles on: