Sunday July 26 marked the first anniversary of a campaign against an ecological disaster in Turkey. It was marred by police violence and the arrests of activists. The Yeşil Sol Parti and environmental activists have been protesting for over a year against a highly polluting cyanide leaching gold mine in the Çanakkale region.
Last week-end a press event and further peaceful protests were planned. The Turkish government however prevented the event from happening by arresting twenty activists and placing them under custody. This government-led oppression and attack on the right of expression and of peaceful assembly is unacceptable.
Evelyne Huytebroeck, co-chair of the European Green Party, comments: “The right of peaceful assembly must be respected and protected. We fully support Yeşil Sol Parti who, along with Turkish civil society organisations, have been at the forefront of the defense of the environment in Turkey.
“Their protest against the opening of a gold mine without the environmental standards needed to avoid damaging pollution from cyanide leaching is critical for preventing an ecological and human disaster.
“In line with the concept of divestment, banks and financial institutions in the European Union must stop the financing of such mining companies and projects.”