Crowds gather in protest at Kalecik

Major protests took place at Kalecik over the weekend.

NGO’s and individual citizens gathered in front of the AKSA power generation plant Sunday morning in protest at the oil spill that resulted as oil was being pumped from a ship to the plant.

The protest lasted for around two hours and was attended by Mehmet Harmanci, Minister of Tourism and the Environment.

He told the crowd that he was there to listen to their complaints and said that initial reports on the damage inflicted by the oil spill had been completed. It was important to determine exactly how much oil had been spilled. The oil left in the supply ship would be offloaded and measured to determine how much was lost at sea.

Once the reports were analysed, criminal proceedings would start, he claimed.

Mr Harmanci said that the specialist cleaning company had 150 staff currently working on the clean-up and that this would go on up to 9pm on Monday. It was estimated that the major clean-up would be complete in a week. Until today the cost of their operations had reached US$2 million and this had all been met by AKSA.

Yasemin Cobanoglu, head of the Environmental Platform, laid the blame for the damage with AKSA, saying that they had not conformed to international safety standards. She also pointed out that the previous UBP government had not made any statements in relation to the oil spill and still wanted to set up a huge oil storage facility if they were re-elected.

Ms Cobanoglu went on to demand that the government cancel its current contract with AKSA and that any new contract should include strict safety clauses.

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