10-Day İztuzu Beach Protest Ends with Pro-Environment Court Decision (Turkey)
The İztuzu Beach Rescue Platform (İKUP) has ended its 10-day-long demonstration to save İztuzu Beach, in Muğla province, after a court ruled on Friday morning to grant a temporary injunction against the private company DALÇEV, the group announced in a written statement on Thursday night, however İKUP also noted that the fight is not yet over.
Environmental activists first mobilized at the site on Dec. 29 to prevent DALÇEV officials who had entered the area with three construction vehicles from taking over the facilities for a development project. İztuzu is the end of a large estuary and a crucially important breeding ground for the endangered loggerhead turtle, and resistance to the project grew quickly, turning into a larger movement with a reported 2,000 demonstrators standing their ground against the company.
Thanking those who came to support them, İKUP spokesperson Murat Demirci announced in a written statement on the platform’s official Twitter account on Thursday night that the 10-day-long protest at the site was to end Friday morning. According to the statement, the court granted a temporary injunction that legally banned DALÇEV, the winner of a controversial tender to privatize the beach facilities that some suspect was improperly awarded and would close public access to the beach, from entering İztuzu Beach.
“Due to the fact that the current court decision will be put into effect at İztuzu and that DALÇEV will not be able to perform any action until the end of the lawsuit, we have decided at this point to end our stand at the entrance to İztuzu [on Friday morning],” the statement read. It further stated that the injunction will allow for procedures to return to normal at İztuzu; the barrier will be removed and access will be restored to people and vehicles.
Reiterating İKUP’s goal to stop the privatization and development of the beach, Demirci’s statement said that they would continue to fight to protect the beach and would keep the public informed with status updates via İKUP’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, as well as press releases. İKUP also noted that this latest court decision is a temporary one and that their objective is to obtain the same result in the final court decision.
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