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Turkish Forest Defenders Brave Arrest to Save Land from Coal Mine Expansion

HeadlineJul 31, 2023

In Turkey, security forces have unleashed water cannons and tear gas on villagers and activists protecting the Akbelen Forest in the province of Muğla from being cleared for coal mining. At least 14 people were arrested last week. Local communities and environmental groups have brought legal challenges and put their own bodies on the line in an effort to stop YK Energy’s expansion of open-pit mining in Akbelen. An activist with the group Beyond Fossil Fuels said, “As tens of thousands of people across the Mediterranean region flee rampaging wildfires caused by the climate crisis, it is incomprehensible that a company is allowed to destroy a forest — one of our most important carbon sinks — to expand a coal mine.”

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