The excavations carried out by Sedex Resources Company in Kavaklı Village of Hakkari were brought to the court on the grounds that the company went out of the working area and destroyed the natural environment.
Since 2007, the company had started mining exploration activities in Hakkari’s Kavaklı (Marunîs) Village. Village residents filed a lawsuit on the grounds that the company in question went beyond the areas specified in its license and destroyed the natural environment. In the objection brought to the court against the excavation works that were brought to the court, it was demanded that the company’s activities be stopped and its licenses canceled.
Lawyer of the villagers, Sefer Kurt, said, “While they should have re-greened the trees they had removed and the area they had polluted, they should have left it like that and left it like that after intense destruction, they preferred to walk away. The mining company needs to be stopped as soon as possible so that it does not cause bigger problems,” he says.
‘Mine exploration activities increased after 2017’
Kurt states that mineral exploration operations have been carried out there since 2007, but mineral exploration operations have increased a lot after 2017. He states that after the increase, there was destruction in many mountains and many forest areas, and he notes that after the destructions, all of the villagers applied to some authorities regarding this issue, but they could not get any results: They had meetings with the relevant institutions from the Governor’s Office. When they did not get any results from those talks, they applied to us in 2020. With the application, we started the legal process towards the end of January 2020. We applied to about 6-7 institutions that were required.”
‘Spring waters have been polluted, the environment has been destroyed’
Emphasizing that they also applied to ministries, Kurt adds that they asked for help from all ministries. Regarding this, he said that the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry made applications due to the removal of trees there, making all the lands unsuitable for agriculture, and the inability to do animal husbandry, and said, “We applied to the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization in the same way. In these applications, we also made applications for the complete destruction of the environment, the pollution of natural spring waters, the destruction of all natural environments of the villagers who make a living from animal husbandry and agriculture. Our applications and legal process continue,” he says.
‘The Ministry of Environment and Urbanization made a partial comeback’
Noting that 3 institutions have returned from the applications so far, Kurt states that one of them is the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, and that in the letter they sent, “the necessary examinations are being made, you will be informed separately after the examinations are completed”. Secondly, a partial return was made by the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization and in the article; He says that there is a notification that an investigation will be made by his personnel and that they will be informed about the report to be kept after the examination.
‘Some non-conformities have been detected’
The Ministry of Environment and Urbanization has recently organized a reconnaissance through its officers in Hakkari Kavaklı Village. Expressing that they were present during the expedition, Kurt said, “The officers who came, took photos and videos of the area there, and also took samples from the water and soil. Finally, they made a one-on-one exploration of the excavation sites in almost all the caves that were excavated. “After about a day of investigation, they said they would keep a report and inform us again,” he says.
Finally, they received a reply from the Hakkari Provincial Directorate of Environment and Urbanization, and it was decided that there was no need for an EIA report in 2021, but some non-compliances were detected when the necessary examinations were made after the application. As a result of these determinations, it was stated that the administrative units were informed and administrative sanctions were made.
‘They exhausted the mine in their field’
Saying that he had demands under seven headings, Kurt explains the first of these as follows: “It was that the relevant company went beyond the working area and the same damage was done in places outside the field. In general, the works were carried out by drilling in most of the mountains, but when no results could be obtained from those mountains, the soil, rubble, etc. they dug up. they left all the excavations there as they were and started to search in new places. And when they found something as a result of the new search, this time they concentrated their work .
Translator : Akif Coşkun
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