In the paradise of Karaburun, Izmir/Turkey, an energy company wants to build a Wind Turbine Plant. The lawyers representing the company founded an association named Cevreci Enerji Dernegi – “Environmental Energy” – which was invited by the Ministry in order to find out whether the wind turbine project would damage the environment or not. The lawyers, representing both the company and the “Environmental NGO”, gave their positive opinion and the Project was approved by the Ministry.
The investment company Çalık Holding, known for its close relationship to the government, prepared to build a wind turbine plant in Karaburun. With full support from the Ministry the investors got a positive result regarding the EIA report (Environmental Impact Assessment report).
THE ADMINISTRATIVE COURT ANNULLED THE EIA DECISION
The locals and environmentalists in the region opposed the planned wind turbine plant. The citizens are not against wind power, but they say that wind turbin plants should be built where the eco system, natural habitats and the environment will not be damaged.
The Administrative Court in Izmir admitted their claims and ruled to cancel the EIA decision issued by the Ministry on the 22nd of October, 2015.
The court decision stated that the Karaburun Peninsula and its environment would be destroyed due to the project. It would have adverse affects from being too close to settlements and it would eliminate the living of many in the region.
THE MINISTRY DID NOT RECOGNIZE THE COURT DECISION
But the Ministry of Energy ignored the court decision, and just five days after the court ruling a new positive EIA decision for the same project was issued. Again the locals opposed through the judiciary, and the court case is on-going.
In the preparation of the new EIA investigation an interesting detail drew attention. As required by the law, the Ministry of Environment and Urban Development established a Monitoring and Evaluation Commission. According to the legislation, the Commission used their authority to invite at least one public organization. The only non-governmental organization that was invited to represent the public was the “Environmental Energy Association”. In the Wind turbine litigation, the energy investor Çalık Holding is represented by the Demir law firm. The serving lawyers Arsin Demir, Serap Sürmeli Demir, Hacer Canseven and Gözde Sağlam are at the same time the Board members of the Environmental Energy Association. Mr. Arsin Demir is the owner and president of both the law firm and the NGO.
THE MINISTRY HID THE TRUTH BUT …
Actually, the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization did not reveal the NGO’s name. Even though, during the EIA process, the ministry issued a circular on the subject among the Monitoring and Evaluation Commission, the institutions and organizations, the association’s name was never mentioned. In fact, the name was revealed by the lawyers when publishing the “good” decision on their own NGO’s website on the 28th of October – one day after the new EIA decision had been announced.
Meanwhile the actions of the lawyers was found to be unethical, with statements such as “deliver the lamb to the wolves” being made.
The credibility of the decisions made by the ministry’s Monitoring and Evaluation Commission is also being questioned.
Translation of “Böyle hülle görülmedi” by Gokmen Ulu: http://www.sozcu.com.tr/2016/emlak/boyle-hulle-gorulmedi-1031203/