A group of locals in the northeastern Turkish province of Artvin's town of Arhavi staged a rally in support of a planned hydroelectric power plant in a rare instance of a pro-plant rally in the country. The target of protesters at the rally was the "methods" of the anti-plant crowd.
Speaking at the rally, Arhavi Mayor Coşkun Hekimoğlu said the opposition to the plant was welcome but the way the protests were held was "inappropriate." "Under the guise of protests, they insult both businesspeople investing in the region and the town hall. We do not object to any opposition to the plant but we never insulted protesters as 'killers' or 'thieves' as they did us," he said.
A court has annulled a report of the environmental impact assessment drafted for the hydroelectric power plant in the town recently. Judges said that locals were not properly informed about the impact of the power plant. Hydroelectric plants all across the country are often subject to protests by locals for their environmental impact. Officials defend that the plants are necessary as a major energy resource for the country that mostly depends on imports for its energy needs.
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