Let them burn, let them destroy!

17 Şubat 2024 Cumartesi

I am writing what should be said at the end, at the very beginning.

Close the Çöpler mine in Erzincan's İliç district! I was saying this two years ago, too. I went there and inspected the site; everyone in the region knew it was a huge threat.

This is not a disaster that occurred; it is a murder seen coming.

Sedat Cezayirlioğlu and his lawyer İsmail Hakkı Atal, who has dedicated himself to protecting nature, Ümit Özdağ, and a few politicians, scientists, and experts warned about the magnitude of the danger. Cemalettin Küçük, a High Metallurgy Engineer, had explained what would happen 10 years ago. Journalist İbrahim Gündüz detailed everything in his book "Golden Death" (Galeati Publishing). I hadn't realized the danger was this big until I went there.


Rio Tinto, Anatolia Minerals, Çukurdere Mining, Lidya Mining, Avoca Resources, Alacer, SSR Mining...

These names are the list of companies operating Çöpler. The mining company took many people to the USA in three tours to convince the public. The district governor at the time, the mayor, the president of the chamber of commerce, village heads, and politicians participated in these trips. Cahit Keklik, the headman of Çöpler Village, says, "After the trip, we were satisfied that the mine would not harm the environment. We sold our land for 5,000 lira per decare, and 55 modern houses will be built." Mustafa Gürbüz, the AKP district chairman of İliç, also said, "We permitted with peace of mind."


The government moved on all fronts to open the mine. Millions of lira were spent, and bribes were given.

The mine site is right next to the Fırat. According to the mine's reports, there are streams right next to the mine site, and including two drilling wells, the mine receives a water intake of 130 liters per second. That is 7,800 liters per minute. 468,000 liters per hour. 11 million 232 thousand liters per day. 4 billion liters per year.

In Erzincan province, 295 liters of water per second are provided to the citizens. So, the mine alone consumes as much water as half of Erzincan.

The mine continues to drill. I traveled over mountains and hills. In the area extending to Kemaliye, mountains are riddled with holes. Gold drilling was conducted in Ağıl, Harmankaya, Dilli, and Çanakçı villages. Approximately one ton of coal ore is mined for one ton of coal. For one ton of iron, two to three tons of iron ore are mined. For one ton of copper, 150-300 tons of copper ore are mined. However, for one ton of dore gold, approximately 5 million tons of ore are mined. The gold sought to be obtained will irreversibly destroy nature, leaving behind millions of tons of waste, a deadly liquid called "acid mine drainage," in other words, sulfuric acid, and heavy metal pollution. The European Parliament voted in 2010 on a resolution calling on the European Commission to take action to completely ban cyanide mining. In our country, cyanide is used to separate gold in 19 mining operations, including in the provinces of Uşak, Gümüşhane, Kütahya, Sivas, Kayseri, Niğde, Konya, and Balıkesir. Let me explain: For a simple gold ring, 30-50 tons of rock are broken down. Poisonous compound cyanide is passed through the extracted pieces, and 31 grams (1 ounce) of gold are extracted, then 30-50 tons of poisoned "tailings" are left in the environment. Companies that cannot conduct cyanide searches in their own country take refuge in our lands. They carry out savage mining in our country.

It's not an accident that happened. It is a murder that was seen coming. Since the year 2000, a total of 500 tons of gold has been mined in Turkey!

Cemalettin Küçük said exactly this: "Even if you print money weighing as much as these 500 tons of gold, you cannot prevent the environmental damage caused by the Çöpler mine alone."

Journalist İbrahim Gündüz, author of the "Golden Death" book, also draws attention to the ideological aspect, saying: "SSR Mining has a very interesting company logo. It uses the half-moon and sun, symbols of ancient Greece and Byzantium. So today, the flag of SSR Mining, adorned with ancient Greek and Byzantine symbols are flying in the mountains of Erzincan. Look at the irony of fate and history: The Byzantine Empire, whose symbol the company uses, was a dominant power in the region, including Erzincan, for many years, until August 26, 1071. That is until Diogenes bowed to Alparslan in the Plain of Malazgirt. Who would have thought that 949 years later, during the term of a government that claims to be conservative-nationalist, the symbols of Byzantium would wave again in Anatolia? Perhaps no better irony could explain the new world order of cartels, globalization, neoliberalism, and 'neo-colonialism.'"

Maybe they'll pin the blame on a few engineers. But no one will touch the Canadian, American, wealthy top-level company executives.

Didn't the same happen in Soma?

The motto of neoliberalism's power is: Let them burn, let them destroy!

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