Istranca/Yildiz Mountains Mines and Quarries, Turkey


Mining and extraction of construction material such as stone/stone chips by numerous small/medium scale enterprises is happening at the Istranca Mountains. At the provincial level there are about 80 mines and stone quarries and this number is well beyond the capacity. This is an area which contains one of the most important water resources of the Ergene Catchment and therefore extraction activities have adverse impacts on these.

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Basic Data
NameIstranca/Yildiz Mountains Mines and Quarries, Turkey
SiteSkirts of Istranca Mountains
Accuracy of LocationLOW country/state level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Mineral Ores and Building Materials Extraction
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Water access rights and entitlements
Mineral ore exploration
Building materials extraction (quarries, sand, gravel)
Specific Commodities
Sand, gravel
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsAt the provincial level there are about 80 mines and stone quarries and this number is well beyond the capacity. Furthermore, reliable data is inaccessible due to lack of transparency and consistency of the enterprises.

Project Area (in hectares)700
Type of PopulationRural
Potential Affected Population500000
Start Date2000
Company Names or State EnterprisesOzarslan Construction Mining Ltd. from Turkey
Gunfalt Construction Inc. from Turkey
Ozturk Kardesler Construction Transportation Ind. Ltd. from Turkey
Tempo Mining
Gur Concrete Inc. from Turkey
Cantas Construction from Turkey
Relevant government actorsMinistry of Development, Edirne Provincial Directorate of State Hydraulic Works, Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs, Ministry of Environment and Urbanisation, Universities in Thrace.
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersErgene Platform (consisting of 90 local and national NGOs), The Turkish Foundation for Combating Soil Erosion, for Reforestation and the Protection of Natural Habitats (TEMA)
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Social movements
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of MobilizationDevelopment of a network/collective action
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Occupation of buildings/public spaces
Appeals/recourse to economic valuation of the environment
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Desertification/Drought, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Soil erosion, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Potential: Food insecurity (crop damage), Global warming, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Health ImpactsPotential: Occupational disease and accidents, Other environmental related diseases
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Displacement, Loss of livelihood
OtherIncome loss (potential)

Difficulties for access of water (observed)

Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCourt decision (victory for environmental justice)
New legislation
Application of existing regulations
Development of Alternatives- Law enforcement serving public interest on the basis of natural assets and not serving enterprise owners and other groups that side with them with the hopes of making unearned income.
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.Mining and extraction of construction material is still going on.
Sources and Materials

Turkish Mining Law numbered 5995 and 3213

Environmental Impact Assessment Regulation Numbered 26939


Local newspaper (Gazete Trakya) (in Turkish:
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Local newspaper Gazete Trakya (in Turkish):
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Declaration of Goksal Cidem as the Kirklareli representative of Wildlife Protection Association (DAYKO) (in Turrkish):
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Interview with Goksal Cidem (in Turkish):
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Hakan Dedeoglu - several articles and statements published in newspapers and magazines:

Goksal Cidem - several statements published in newspapers:


Meeting in Yenice-Pinarhisar against mines and quarries with the participation of local people and NGOs (in Turkish):

The Declaration of Vize Municipality supporting the court case against Ozarslan Construction Mining Ltd.(in Turkish):
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News about the protest of 200 local people against quarries in Yenice-Pinarhisar region (in Turkish):

Other CommentsPoliticians and certain media groups are supporting the mining projects
Meta Information
ContributorHakan Dedeoglu
Last update08/04/2014