In the early morning on 20.11.2014 three huge trucks loaded with wind turbine parts from German manufacturer Nordex crawled up a narrow road to the wind power project (WWP) under construction on the hills overlooking the pretty Turkish seaside resort of Çeşme. Without official permission to close the public road and with complete disregard for public safety, Nordex was playing a dangerous and illegal game.
Despite the early hour, the 30-metre long trucks’ progress was blocked by oncoming traffic. Word quickly spread in the small community and local residents against the WPP, which are being constructed close to residential and touristic areas on officially protected land and with no public consultation and no legally required Environmental Impact Assessment, gathered to ensure the trucks could not pass.
Hamburg-based turbine maker Nordex, is contracted to manufacture, install and maintain the turbine equipment for the controversial Çeşme WPP project owned by Turkish investment company ABK Çeşme RES AŞ. There are currently 20 on-going court cases against the project and two stop orders from the Turkish Council of State, the country’s highest court. However, in the face of inaction by government officials and the Turkish Energy Market Regulatory Authority, which refuse to implement the court rulings, construction work continues causing huge environmental damage to public and privately owned land.
The standoff between protestors and over 50 police lasted 4 hours, when police forcefully and illegally removed the peaceful protestors from the road to allow the Nordex trucks to pass.
“The police are working for the company, not for the people. We will do whatever we can to stop the wind turbines being built here,” said Rasim Özgül, elected representative of Fahrettin neighbourhood, which is just 400 metres from the closest wind turbines.
Esen Kabadayı Vhiting, a municipal councilor who is leading the campaign against the Çeşme WWP, adds:
“This was another example of how a German firm, Nordex, is directly involved in a project which is breaking not only Turkish National Laws and the Constitutional Rights of it’s people, but also key requirements of the Aarhus Convention for which Germany and the EU are signators. Nordex would never be allowed to operate like this in Europe, but here in Turkey they are taking advantage of the weak legal system to make huge profits.”