“When ash falls on our land, our animals won’t graze and we will not be able to get any products,” said İsmail Akgöz, who does small-scale agriculture and husbandry in Yaykıl. He is also among the hundreds of people who are guarding entry to the area.
At this fork of a road from Sinop, where one way goes to Yaykıl and the other way to Gerze, a makeshift home for the people who stay on guard was put up with the arrival of winter.
The people of the town have been protesting plans to build the power plant in the area for three years but their protests turned into active resistance as the Anadolu Group tried to bring its drilling equipment into the village to take samples from the land required for an Environmental Impact Assessment (ÇED) report.
The statement also said that the plant will be “exemplary” in complying with Turkish and European Union standards as it will have a filter in its chimney to clean such toxic chemicals as nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide and ash. The company also promised to consider locals first for jobs at the plant.
According to Greenpeace research, coal-fired thermal power plants are responsible for 41 percent of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions, a direct cause of climate change. Moreover, coal power plants are the reason for mercury pollution, which causes numerous fatal diseases when it enters the food chain and the soil. Particles and radiation emitted when coal burns lead to asthma, heart disease and infant mortality. There are also risks associated with coal ash produced by coal-fired power plants as it might contaminate ground waters with toxic elements.