Thursday, 3 March, 2022.
Environmentalists planning to plant saplings in an area of the Kyrenia Mountains which was stripped of forest in order to build a housing estate, face threats from the Security Forces Personnel Building Cooperative Ltd, Kibris Postasi reported.
It was claimed that the environmentalists who want to re-green the 74-decare [18.2 acres] of forest land on the northern slope of the Girne Mountains, which was destroyed by Güven-Yapı, in order to build a housing estate for retired military personnel, were threatened by the cooperative and its lawyers.
Making a statement on the subject on social media, Hasan Sarpten who is Secretary to the Biologists’ Association said, “Threats cannot intimidate us, the Forest of Life will come to life“.
He went on to say that non-governmental organisations had decided to organise a joint event to plant the first saplings on the deforested land, on Friday, 4 March, 2022, however, and Güven-Yapı was trying to prevent the planting of saplings by keeping the cranes belonging to the contractors on the land despite all warnings.
Stating that although the land in question is already designated as forest land, Sarpten said that letters had been sent to environmentalists stating that “the land is under our lease, if you enter, you will commit the crime of encroaching on the property and we will do what is necessary“. In response, Sarpten said, “We will not get permission from a private company to enter a place that is currently registered as Forest Land“.
Noting that the cooperative’s lawyer issued statements that “a counter suit is being discussed at the Supreme Administrative Court, therefore, saplings are not allowed to be planted“, Sarpten said there have been no decision to redesignate the forest land for other use or to transfer the land to Güven-Yapı.
He added, “If we had surrendered to your threats, the land in question would have already become concrete today”.