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Tens of thousands march through Alamos’ cyanide gold mine in Mount Ida

The Great Water and Conscience Meeting took off yesterday against the gold mine with cyanide leeching the Canada-based Alamos Gold Inc. want to open near Kirazlı and Balaban villages on the slopes of Mount Ida.

The nearby drinking water dam of Atikhisar, provides water for the 300 thousand residents of Çanakkale.

Tens of thousands of people gathered in an area between Kirazlı and Balaban villages for the protest organized by Çanakkale Municipality early in the day. A few dozen environmentalists have been at a vigil action in the camp site since July 26 as part of “Watch for Water and Conscience.”

At 12:30, protesters started marching towards the gold mine area, where 195 thousand trees have been cut. At 13:30 thousands of protesters entered the area closed with razor wire, and proceeded to the mine site.

Environmentalists oppose the gold mine both because of forest and ecosystem destruction and cyanide use. It is well known from the similar projects in Turkey that cyanide which will be used to extract gold in the Alamos mine and other heavy metals such as arsenic, mercury, lead, cadmium and chromium will contaminate the soil as well as ground and underground waters. The Turkish government on the other hand rejects charges that the mine will damage the environment.

TEMA, one of the biggest environmental organisations in Turkey, declared that 195,000 trees were cut down for the project, well above the 46,000 target previously announced by the company Doğu Biga, which is the local subsidiary of Alamos Gold.

Citizens who came together before the march first read out the “Mount Ida Oath”.

The Mount Ida Oath

Trees have no legs they can use to run…
No hands to fight with…
No tongue to curse with…
So…
It is we, who will defend our Mount Ida…
If one day my heart stops in these mountains…
Bury me where I fall…
My heart will bloom with the mountain flowers.

 

 

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