Develi Residents in Environmental Action

Aug 14, 2006

The residents of a small village, Develi near Saruhanlı town of Manisa in western Turkey are protesting the garbage disposal plans of 6 municipalities.

A group of villagers descended upon Manisa in early hours of the day for the protest but the Manisa police was waiting for them. The crowd of 30 men and women were not deterred by the police threats and continued their march to a nearby park. The villagers demanded the governor to come and talk with them, which was accepted by the officials. The governor was met in the park by the villagers who expressed their concern over the garbage dump.

The villagers protested the building of a garbage dump in their village which is jointly being built by 6 municipalities, including Manisa’s. The dump is expected to destroy fertile agricultural land and effect the health of the villagers. The peasants asked the governor’s help in solving the conflict.

In response, the governor Refik Arslan Öztürk said, “You know, it would not be a good idea to talk about the subject matter because it is in its legal proceedings. We respect your concerns. However, we need to find solutions to our garbage problem. Only the courts will determine if the municipalities’ decision was fair or not.”

The Peasants from Develi returned to their villages after the meeting chanting slogans.