Germany, You Should Be Proud!

Bravo ABK Çeşme RES AŞ! Bravo Nordex! Despite 14 years of planning – secretly without any consultation with local people or NGOs – someone forgot to include an official access road in the plans for their 80 million TL wind power project in the Aegean tourist resort of Çeşme. Hard to believe, but true. Now the project’s 58-metre long turbine blades are stuck, waiting in a service station on the İzmir-Çeşme highway.

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Without an official access road, Turkish investment company ABK Çeşme RES and its subcontractors have been working illegally to widen a public road, destroying private property and endangering local residents in the process. Since 10th September, dozens of trees have been illegally cut and tonnes of rubble dumped on private land. Despite legal complaints by the affected landowners and protests by local residents, ABK will stop at nothing to get the job done. Even forging documents is acceptable, it seems.

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View more pictures of ABK Çeşme RES’s unauthorized road widening which involved trespass on private land and criminal damage including cutting down trees.

Stop At Nothing To Get The Job Done!

On 11 November 2014, company employees, including the ABK Çeşme RES project manager, were observed illegally excavating the road without warning lights or safety equipment. When challenged, they produced a “permission” document from Çeşme Municipality. This document turned out to be a forgery, signed by an employee from TEDAŞ, the electricity supply company, not the authorized municipal employee. A criminal complaint has been made to the Çeşme state prosecutor.

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ABK employees and contrators hard at work!



The Trucks Rumble On…

But still the trucks sneak illegally past, without permission from the Izmir municipal traffic control commission, UKAME. On 20th November, three oversized trucks blocked the road to on-coming traffic. Local residents refused to make way for the illegal, dangerous loads and a 4-hour deadlock ensued. Despite being on private property the police finally moved against the protestors, pushing them aside so the trucks could get passed. View more images here.

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Nordex Hides Behind Corporate Ignorance

Meanwhile Nordex, the German company that is responsible for manufacturing, transporting, installing and maintaining the wind turbines for the ABK Çeşme RES project, is hiding behind corporate ignorance. While its employees and contractors are involved in gross breaches of health and safety good practice, trespass on private property and the dangerous and illegal transportation of turbine parts on public roads, Nordex’s management insist that all is legal and above board. Nothing could be further from the truth!

Nordex worker forced to climb dangerously on turbine to remove cable.

Nordex worker forced to climb dangerously on turbine part caught on overhead cable.



Watch video of Nordex’s illegal and dangerous corporate activity in Turkey. In the video a Turkish worker is forced to climb on the Nordex turbine to unhook an overhead telephone cable that is caught on the turbine part. Only on the 4th December 2014 did they finally get the required permission from AYCOME, the municipal infrustructure coordinating committee, to put overhanging electricity and telephone cables underground. At least 20 trucks passed illegally and dangerously up this public road without official permission in the same way over a 6-week period before this date!

At least 20 Nordex trucks passed up a public road without official permission.

At least 20 Nordex trucks passed up a public road without official permission.

 

No Public Consultation, No EIA

A project of this scale without public consultation and without an Environmental Impact Assessment would never be allowed to proceed in Europe. According to the Aarhus Convention, to which both Germany and the EU are signators, the public must be informed about and have a chance to participate in decision-making on environmental matters. The OECD guidelines for multinational enterprises, which enshrine the Aarhus principles, state that multinationals have an obligation, “to address the environmental, health, and safety-related impacts associated with the processes, goods and services of the enterprise…with a view to avoiding or, when unavoidable, mitigating them.”

Marketshare Before Corporate Responsibility

Clearly Nordex was taking its corporate responsibilities very seriously when it became involved in a wind power project that has caused such widespread environmental destruction to protected public and private land. A project that has systematically trampled on the rights of local people and which is the subject of over 20 on-going court cases, including unfinished appeals against the expropriation of private land, and two stop orders from the Council of State, Turkey’s highest administrative court. A project with no Environmental Impact Assessment report which was conceived and planned for 14 years with absolutely no public consultation. A project with no legal access road!

Bravo Nordex! Well done for being a champion of European corporate standards in Turkey. Well done for putting market share and profits in Turkey’s burgeoning wind energy market ahead of the environment, the law and the health and safety of the Turkish people.

Germany, you should be proud!