Bergama's Wealth Essay

994 words - 4 pages

There was a peaceful life in Bergama until an Australian gold company (Eurogold) came over and offered wealth to Turkey. In 1992, the Company got the mining permission from the Ministry of Energy without the villagers' acknowledgement. Then 652 people, whose aim was to make them cancel the license given to Eurogold Company, or to alter the claim that using cyanide in gold mining is not dangerous, applied to Izmir Administrative Court. But, the local court gave the decision in favor of the Company.After that the people applied to the Court of Appeals. But the Company did not wait for the decision. Because of the still continuing support and encouragement of the statesmen, they did not care about the condition of being honest businessmen. They did not pay attention to any warning, neither showed any respect to the law or public opinion; and went into a hard construction process. They said 'Ankara (the Government) allowed us. We don't care about your State.' They paid 2$ per tree; and cut down more than 2350 trees.Local people rebelled. 500 people sat on the highway for hours. No authority could make them give up. Under heavy rain, they organized a meeting called 'Enough is Enough'. They walked on the streets half naked. They delivered documents and walked, this time in shrouds. Thousands of them gave petition for the women who lost their babies before they were born, as a result of the dynamite explosions in the mining area. 2866 villagers held a referendum and opposed to gold mining by real cyanide. They went to Lefke in Cyprus to make investigations in the minefields. They hosted the Volkswagen owners who came to Bergama from all around Turkey. They hosted the people who walked whole night from Izmir to Bergama with torches in their hands. They helped people who came there from several universities to film documentaries. They gained the support of public and various institutions from all around Turkey and out of Turkey. They went to Ankara, to the Parliament; left 50.000 signs and came back. They stopped Ministry of Mine on his way. And in the end, they couldn't stand more and entered the mining area. The governor of Izmir closed the mine for a month to set the peace in the region. He was using the authority given him by the article 5442 of city administrating law. And in the end, the Court of Appeals gave the long-waited big decision. According to the breaking decision, the construction process would be stopped. Nevertheless, the company neglected the decision and went on. The villagers agreed on waiting for a month that means until July 27th of 1997. They were sober; but they showed that their willingness to resist did not decrease. They danced around the minefield like Indians half naked and with their faces painted. They came to Izmir to give petition to the governor. They had borrowed their school boys' neckties. They sent thousands of telegraphs to Ankara. They...

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