8 Mukhtars’ Statement Support The Mine in Çanakkale
The local mukhtars reacted to the developments regarding the Kirazlı Gold and Silver Mine Project planned to be operated by Doğu Biga Mining-Alamos Gold, near the village of Kirazlı in the center of Çanakkale. The Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources announced that rights bestowed by the license law continues on the same day when ”Minister Pakdemirli made a promise to Haluk Levent that the area will be rehabilitated in the program organized by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry which galvanized the mukhtars.
Stating that the mining company has supported the villages on many issues, 8 village mukhtars added that they want the mine to be opened as soon as possible. The village mukhtars underlining that thousands of people who started working at the mine became unemployed when the work stopped expect the company to start working again as soon as possible.
8 villages close to the Kirazlı Gold and Silver Mine project expect the mine to be operational as soon as possible. The mukhtar of Kirazlı the closest village to the mine Erkan Can said, “We have personally seen that the company has many benefits for our village. We can also show it to people who come here. The company has helped us in every way, with the work done in the village. Whether the mine should work or not? We want it to work. As villagers, we have never been against the mine. Nor will we be. There were more than 20 people working in that mine from our village. They are unemployed now. There were vehicles too. There were 6 transfer vehicles at the village site. Considering other added values, I really don’t know why people are against the mine, ”he said.
“If it weren’t for the mine, we wouldn’t have a way.”
Halil Yılmaz, the mukhtar of Yukarışapçı village told “I have a fairly high worker capacity. My neighbors, friends, colleagues, villagers keep coming to me and ask when the mine will open. I reply them saying that it will open and not harm us. My neighbors and villagers leave my office happy receiving that good news. They help us with everything, bulldozers and other stuff. They help with all of our work in our village. For this reason, we want the mine to be opened and operational. I’m 56 years old. If it weren’t for the mine, our Kirazlı Village connection and Çanakkale connection would ever be an asphalt road. We have asphalt road thanks to the mine. Transportation is much easier and safer. Now we can reach health institutions faster. For this reason, I want it to be opened. We currently do not anticipate any harm to our environment and nature. “We are the people who will oppose in the first place if it happens,” he added.
“We are the ones living in this region, we need the mine to be opened”
Şenol Arslan, mukhtar of Aşağışapçı Village from one of the villages close to Kirazlı Gold and Silver Mine commented: “Doğu Biga Mining has been working in our region for 10 years. Our relations are very good so far. We have a 9-kilometer road from our village to Çanakkale. Our road has been constructed. They had charitable actions done in the mosque of our village, in our coffee house. We receive a lot of support from the mine. We are the ones living in this region. We need the work that will be available in the mine. “I am waiting for a job from the mine, I want it to work”.
“I hope the mine opens so that people can earn their livelihood.”
Karaibrahimler Village Mukhtar Mehmet Sezgin stated that he did not receive any complaints about the mining company and said, “My villagers support the operation of the mine. We benefit a lot of from that mine, and our villagers also benefit from it too. But since it is closed now, nobody can benefit from it for about 1 year or so. We are also waiting for it to open, but for some reason it cannot be opened. Hopefully it will open soon so that our villagers can start earning income as soon as possible. What is the harm of this mine to us if it works? They say ‘cyanide poisons’. What poisoning? Has the people in Uşak been poisoned? They’re trying to tempt people with these kinds of things. We don’t believe them. We on the side of the mine supporting its operation. People are now eagerly waiting for this mine to work. I hope it opens soon and the citizen eats a can earn their living from there. What is the benefit of leaving the mine underground? Let it benefit the citizens. If that mine comes out, people will benefit, the state will also benefit, and we will also benefit from this mine. We have already started to see the benefits of the mine without ever extracting it. I hope we can benefit even more when the mine starts working. Our asphalt construction, construction of the roads, other shortcomings .. The state cannot keep up with all of them. But if the mine operates here, we will be able to overcome all these shortcomings. We will all benefit from this mine in general. There were 20-25 friends working in the mine from my village. They were let go. All of those people are in need of employment right now. They are having a hard time. We help them out of social solidarity. These people have no money to buy bread. This is the rural area. There are not many job opportunities here. Those who have animals can make a living, but there are other people who nothing. Some of them have 2-3 children. Not have a single income in the house. What will these guys do? They can earn income from the mine. So that they can take care of their children. We expect the mine to be opened immediately, but hopefully it will open in a very short time” he said.
“The villagers are also satisfied with the mining company, and so we are.”
Alan village mukhtar Şevket Özkan said, “We are not against the mine as long as it does not cause too much damage to the environment. If it works, employment opportunities will be available for our neighboring villages, our villagers, and the youth. That is why it will be good for us. They have provided scholarships, helped repairing some of our village coffee centers with bricks, and we built a house for İmam thanks to those supports. They provide all kinds of help whenever we want. The villagers and we also are satisfied with these aids. We are not in a position to deny this”
“Both us and the country will win”
Karacalar village headman Abdullah Budakoğlu said that he believes that the mine will benefit both the region and the country, “If the mine is opened, our village will benefit, Çanakkale will benefit, our country will win, everyone will win. We want it to be opened. It would be good for us if it opens as soon as possible. “There are people ready to work from the village and they are waiting”.
“They provide financial and moral contribution”
A pond with 3.7 million cubic meters of water holding capacity was built by the mining company, Kumarlar village headman Müjdat Başaran said, “Altınzeybek-2 pond was built on our village. The stream flowed from here, and we were thirsty. This pond suits here. We are very satisfied for now. This stream gives us water from here. There will also be closed system works here in April&May. It was also given to our village as drinking water. Our village was experiencing victimization. Our life was spent in the mountains with hoe-shovel drudgery and searching for water. But now we have plenty of water. We are very pleased with this. It was a barren, stony land. The stone of the pond was taken from here. After that, there was a rehabilitation work. Pine nuts and walnuts were infused here. I hope that when the closed system comes, and its line gets installed, these will be a source of income for the village. Students were suffering from this virus disaster. They distributed internet and tablets to the students. Our children benefited from this. Scholarships were provided. They make a great contribution to us financially and spiritually.”
“We sincerely want the mine to be opened”
The head of the village of Cazgirler Ali Alaca said, “Right now people are asking about this. They ask about works, jobs, and so on. Local people has suffered, indeed. Until the work stopped, there were at least 20-30 people working from our village. They are currently looking for a job. There is no jobs due to this epidemic. I really want this mine to work in this region. Some aid was also being provided to our village. But of course, this kind of aid stopped after the mine was shut down. It has to operate. “People want jobs, they want service.”