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Wind power plant project halted in Aegean village after protests

A local court has ruled to halt the construction of a wind power plant in Ovacık village, which lies within the Urla district of the Aegean province of İzmir, after villagers protested against the felling of trees in a forest.

Recently, the court had stopped the execution temporarily and 1,789 pine and fruit trees were saved after the court launched an inspection of the region by a panel of experts.

Protests sparked among villagers in June and multiple court cases were filed on behalf of the villagers. The residents of Ovacık had been standing watch at the forested area against construction, while after the first court decision, 20 trees were felled.

The new court decision highlighted the contradiction between the ministry’s construction plan and the İzmir Municipality’s environmental planning, and pointed to the “potential irreparable damage that the construction could cause in the woodland, and the status of the village as the ‘first state-designated natural protected area,’” as well as the impact on the harmony, unity and sustainability in the forest.

Despite the promising decision, the lawyer of the villagers, Hande Atay, said the company “would not be able to even hammer a nail there,” announcing the protesters would be waiting for the cancellation of the implementation.