Sugözü Beach, where Adana Hunutlu Thermal Power Plant is located, is an ‘important sea turtle nesting area that needs to be protected’, according to the Circular No. 2009-10 on the Protection of Sea Turtles published by the General Directorate of Nature Conservation and National Parks. The construction of the Hunutlu power plant also violates the Bern Convention as it poses a threat to the nesting site of the green sea turtle, which has been designated as “endangered” by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature). The project is also in violation of Articles 8d, 8k and 14c of the Convention on Biological Diversity, to which both China and Turkey are signatories.
Within the scope of the campaign carried out by the Eastern Mediterranean Environment Platform (DACE) and supported by 350.org, CAN Europe, Doğa Derneği, Ecosphere Association, HEAL (Health and Environment Union) and WWF-Turkey, 80 thousand signatures have been collected so far. The signatures were delivered to the headquarters in Turkey of ICBC (China Industry and Trade Bank), the biggest financier of the Hunutlu Thermal Power Plant, under the leadership of DACE today.
DACE’s volunteer lawyer İsmail Hakkı Atal made the following statement in the press statement made in front of the bank:
“In the expert report of the lawsuit filed against the construction of the power plant, it was revealed by the experts that none of the measures that were said to be taken to protect the turtles were adequate and realistic. Despite this, the construction of the Hunutlu thermal power plant still continues. We demand that this construction be stopped immediately and that this beach, which is protected by law, is actually protected.”
Eastern Mediterranean Environment Platform spokesperson Sadun Bölükbaşı said:
“The negative chain effects of the Hunutlu thermal power plant on the environment, climate and biodiversity are obvious. We expect investments to be made in clean sectors such as solar and wind instead of coal, to the benefit of stakeholders in both Turkey and China, and we expect China to act with a sustainable approach in Turkey in line with the green financing policies it has determined for its own country. In this direction, we demand that ICBC bank withdraw from this coal investment, just like in Zimbabwe and Kenya.”
Climate activist Elif Ünal, who took the floor in the signature delivery with a sea turtle costume on behalf of sea turtles, said, “Sea turtles have been living in Adana’s waters for 110 million years, as they do in the entire Mediterranean. This interference with their habitat threatens the population of sea turtles in the region. Sacrificing these ancient creatures of the sea for this power plant, which is expected to last 30 years, is a big blow to the ecosystem of the country.”