Engin Yilmaz, Drector of Doga Denergi (the BirdLife International partner in Turkey) has given me permission to upload a mail he sent out this afternoon, asking activists to send an e-letter of protest to their local Turkish Embassy and to Turkish government officials. I’ve copied the protest letter below Engin’s mail – please feel free to copy it again and send to the email addresses given below [these are live links - simply select, copy, and paste: note I did get a 'Mailbox full' response on one name, but the mail should get through when the mailbox is emptied (it does make you wonder, though, why an official would leave his desk on a Friday with a full mailbox? Too busy, or just not bothered...)].
Many conservation groups feel they work in isolation – helping them like this is a huge encouragement and costs nothing! Thanks.
The Marchers for Nature are going to meet in Ankara tomorrow on 21th May and shout out their demands. Therefore we need your support to make the Government understand that the international community also watches them.
Please do send the attached letter with your organization and/or personal signature indicating your country to the Turkish Embassies in your countries and to the following emails:
basbakanlik.gov.tr, bimer@ basbakanlik.gov.tr, bulent. firstname.lastname@example.org, inshkkom@ tbmm.gov.tr, email@example.com. tr, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, del firstname.lastname@example.org
You can find the contact of information of the Turkish Embassy in your country at: http://www.mfa.gov.tr/
We also kindly request your support in another particular way: if possible, organizing a symbolic march in front of the Turkish Embassies in your country with the motto “we wont give up Anatolia, we wont give up Mother Earth” and send the photos/videos of this protests to us.
Thanks a lot
- To: Turkish Government
I am writing to you about a very important and urgent development in Turkey: the draft act on Nature and Biodiversity Conservation and other related legislations and implementations which pose several serious concerns with regard conserving the biodiversity of Turkey.
If these legislations and implementations continue it will result in permanent destruction of natural habitats and loss of species at a very large scale. At least 80% of all Key Biodiversity Areas of Turkey will no longer have favorable conservation status as a result. Moreover, key populations of several threatened species will undergo large declines as the developments eliminate most of the conservation measures taken at Turkey’s protected areas as well as in other key natural habitats. The current approach of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry will ease the path of investments and illegal shanty settlements across key natural habitats in Turkey. The implementation of these plans would not only cause environmental destruction on an unprecedented scale, but also massively violate the fundamental Human rights of up to two million people.
The people of Anatolia set out from the valleys, villages, towns and various cities all through Turkey to march to Ankara against these activities that threaten nature and biodiversity. After their march, which will take 40 days and 40 nights, thousands are going to meet in Ankara on 21th May and shout out their demands.
In line with the demands of the “We Won’t Give Up Anatolia Movement” we unequivocally condemn these developments and call on the Turkish Government:
- to immediately withdraw the proposed draft act on “Nature and Biodiversity Conservation” and to cancel the recent amendment of the Renewable Energy Resources Act that will open up all national parks and protected sites to industrial development
– to halt the privatization of all rivers and streams in Anatolia and halt the construction of almost 2000 Hydro Electric Plants and dams (which in addition to 2,000 existing dams are being built without any assessment of their cumulative impacts on the entire country
– to withdraw the ecologically destructive 40.000+ mining permits that will destroy mountains, withdraw plans for nuclear plants that will endanger future generations, and withdraw new forestry legislation that will open up forests to industrial development.
- to take the necessary measures to put an end to the violations of fundamental Human Rights including those relating to food, water, housing and health
Yours sincerely [please insert name, name of organisation, country]