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Saving the Ida Mountains

Saving the Ida Mountains

Mount Ida is a mountain in northwestern Turkey, some 20 miles southeast of the ruins of Troy, along the north coast of the Gulf of Edremit. According to satellite imaging 195 thousand trees have been cut near Mount Ida and the reason for that is a gold mine project by Canada based Alamos Gold Inc. The project originally started around 2012 and Department of Forestry had allowed tree cutting. However, estimated number for trees that were going to be cut was around 45 thousand. 

After gold mine project received widespread media coverage, thousands of environmental protestors came together to protest against the gold mine project and protect the trees of Mount Ida. The TEMA Foundation (The Turkish Foundation for Combating Soil Erosion, for Reforestation and the Protection of Natural Habitats) has started a petition for protecting the Ida Mountains and more than 500.000 people signed it. Turkish people used their social media by using hashtags such as #ProtectIdaMountains #StandtogetherforIdaMountains to raise awareness. Also non-governmental organizations, associations, unions, lawmakers, lawyers and artists, as well as tens of thousands from all over Turkey joined in the area to stand together. On July 26, a watch began with 5 tent and 16 people.

With the beginning of August, it reached 200 tent and 250 people. Every evening around 9 p.m. people gather around to talk about what can be done about the area. Many artists arrange concerts to draw attention. On August 18 Turkish pianist and composer Fazıl Say will perform on the area. It makes me so happy to see people getting together trying to save the nature. Everyone does whatever they can to spread awareness; some post on social media, some guard the area by pitching a tent, some perform their art.

I would like to finish my post with a great quote by Rachel Carson which sums up Ida Mountains situation very well “But man is a part of nature, and his war against nature is inevitably a war against himself.”

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