Article

Turkey: New energy at any price?

TURKEY: A new wind farm is to be built on the Turkish Aegean coast - with technical support from Germany. But also at the expense of the environment and the neighboring community according tothe residents and legal experts.

Foreign investors see Turkey as a profitable business. In 2013 alone, about 13 billion US dollars flowed to Turkey. Above all, the Turkish energy market is one of the fastest growing in the world. On the website of the Turkish government the energy sector is advertised as booming: "Invest in Turkey," it says on the page. The plan is to invest around $ 120 billion in the energy market by 2023 - twice as much as in the last ten years.

In addition to the two planned nuclear power plants, renewable energies are increasingly being used. Investors from Europe, in particular, are investing in wind, solar and hydropower projects using modern technologies. Often, however, these millions of dollars in Turkey are accompanied by undemocratic means: lack of transparency, no public participation, disregard for nature conservation and the judiciary.

"The construction project is not legal"

Such a scenario has been taking place for months on the Turkish peninsula Cesme. As part of the Cesme RES project, the Turkish energy company... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

TURKEY: A new wind farm is to be built on the Turkish Aegean coast - with technical support from Germany. But also at the expense of the environment and the neighboring community according to the residents and legal experts.

Foreign investors see Turkey as a profitable business. In 2013 alone, about 13 billion US dollars flowed to Turkey. Above all, the Turkish energy market is one of the fastest growing in the world. On the website of the Turkish government the energy sector is advertised as booming: "Invest in Turkey," it says on the page. The plan is to invest around $ 120 billion in the energy market by 2023 - twice as much as in the last ten years.

In addition to the two planned nuclear power plants, renewable energies are increasingly being used. Investors from Europe, in particular, are investing in wind, solar and hydropower projects using modern technologies. Often, however, these millions of dollars in Turkey are accompanied by undemocratic means: lack of transparency, no public participation, disregard for nature conservation and the judiciary.

"The construction project is not legal"

Such a scenario has been taking place for months on the Turkish peninsula Cesme. As part of the Cesme RES project, the Turkish energy company ABK started construction of a wind farm in the popular resort on the Aegean coast in January. For this purpose, Nordex, based in Hamburg, is to supply a total of six wind turbines.

Residents such as the 30-year-old Esen Kabadayi, however, are strictly against the project. "Suddenly a bulldozer stood there and started to build a road on our property," says the environmental scientist from Izmir in a DW interview. No warning or expropriation letter has been received by her family, she says. The property is nearly 4,000 square meters in size and more than 800 square meters are affected by the construction, and my property is now split in two - by a thoroughfare to the future turbines, "says the environmental activist indignantly. Kabadayi calls the ongoing construction work "illegal." Also because it is a nature reserve and should not be cultivated.

The 45-year-old native Swede Madeleine Kura has been legally against the construction project for months. Together with her husband, she has owned a total of 350,000 square meters of peninsula space for more than 20 years. "The transfer of ownership of our properties has not yet been completed, but parts have already been taken away from us," criticizes Kura.

It will continue to be built anyway

The lawyers of the Kura family refer to a court decision of the State Council - one of the supreme courts of Turkey. "After that, an execution stop has been ordered until the existing legal issues have been resolved, it is not a final court decision, but a temporary one to comply with," attorney Bekir Aytekin explains. The decision is against the declaration of expropriation of the Council of Ministers, which stipulates that the EPDK may implement the nationalization of the land, said Aytekin. A prosecution expert has also found an intervention in the private property, "Aytekin says, and the same has been said by the local gendarmerie and forwarded in writing to the prosecutor." We have all the legal evidence. "

The turbine supplier Nordex has no reservations about the construction project and will still deliver. "Customer ABK has submitted all necessary permits and we have asked if anything has changed in the situation and we have been told that nothing has changed", said Hans-Rudolf Lenhartz, chief lawyer at Nordex, in a DW interview. Nordex has a debt contract to which one is bound. "We naturally comply with our obligations under the contract," says Lenhartz. Turkey is also an important market for the company. "We have already delivered 600 megawatts of supplies in Turkey and have been involved in various wind farms in Turkey for about four years and have had very positive experiences with the country, we are the market leader and have no doubt that the customer is right Lenhartz.

Nordex has no detailed information on the execution and the lawsuits, criticizes Aytekin. "Foreign investors are not asking whether their investments and activities are in line with Turkish law, they are getting their money, and they're happy with that," Aytekin says. It is always the same. "The construction of the third airport and the third Bosphorus Bridge will be carried out in the same way, and environmentalists and the public will simply be ignored," Aytekin said. 

"Justice is not always independent"

Arsin Demir, lawyer of the energy company ABK, refers to the expropriation of private land on the urgent confiscation. "This urgent seizure was accepted by the Council of Ministers, so the project has a legal basis," said Demir. In addition, no wind turbines would be built on private land, but only on public land, he says. "Only small parts of private land have been expropriated as part of safety precautions because they are around the turbines," says the lawyer. For nature reserves there are also exceptions for certain construction projects.

However, Lami Bertan Tokuzlu, a legal expert at Bilgi University in Istanbul, sees a clear infringement here, "otherwise the Council of State would not have opted for an execution stop". Such violations are common in Turkey, says Tokuzlu. "They are continuing to build the wind farm in Cesme, which means they are ignoring the court order," says the legal expert. However, the hope of achieving greater success in court was low. "Most energy companies are close to the government and the judiciary is not always independent."

For future investments in Turkey, it is important that Turkey finally signs the Aarhus Convention, said Tanay Sidki Uyar, Head of Energy Department at Marmara University in Istanbul and President of the European Renewable Energy Association e.V. (EUROSOLAR). According to Uyar in the DW interview, Uyar said: "The convention stands for more transparency in construction projects, so there are criteria for the construction of wind turbines, which gives citizens the right to oppose certain projects.

Translation to English using Google Translate


Source: https://p.dw.com/p/1CRVN

JUL 7 2014
http://www.windaction.org/posts/50097-turkey-new-energy-at-any-price
back to top