Turkish pianist Say holds concert on site of gold-mine project in northwest Turkey
Turkish composer and pianist Fazıl Say performed before thousands on Sunday on the site a controversial gold-mine project in Turkey's northwestern province of Çanakkale, where hundreds have been protesting for weeks.
The concert by Say was held in solidarity with environmentalists to draw the world's attention to the environmental damage facing the region with the project by Canadian company Alamos Gold Inc., opposition newspaper Sözcü reported.
"I feel proud of the people of Turkey today. I would like to thank those who have stood up for nature from day one. They were the ones to direct us and an inspiration for the concert," the pianist, who performed a newly-composed piece dedicated to the deforested area, told the crowd.
Ecological activists and environmental groups have launched a campaign and massive protests against the construction of a gold mine to be run by Canada-based intermediate gold producer Alamos Gold after several environmental groups revealed that a total of 195,000 trees had been chopped down in the region, quadruple the number in the initial Environmental Impact Assessment Report (ÇED).
A reported 20,000 tonnes of cyanide, a toxic substance that can be deadly in case of spills or leaks will be used in the mine.
Hundreds of environmentalists have been keeping guard on the scene since July 26.
The project is posing a severe threat to public health, as the mining site is to receive water from Atikhisar Dam, the only water source for nearly 180,000 residents, according to the Turkish Foundation for Combating Soil Erosion, for Reforestation and the Protection of Natural Habitats.