Marmaris Bay project not ’green’ .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:none; color:#000000;} .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink:hover { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:underline; color:#990000;} MUĞLA - Environmentalists continue to protest the planned project to expand Marmaris Port, arguing the natural habitat will be seriously damaged if reconstruction goes ahead.

The project, planned three years ago, is now awaiting approval from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, but environmentalists want to stop the process and are being helped by academics and Greenpeace.

The Marmaris Nature Volunteers Association said it was in talks with Greenpeace to send members to protest the expansion of Marmaris Port. The association has already requested reports from professors from Muğla and Istanbul Universities over the potential negative effects of the project.

’Marmaris is not an open sea’
Ahmet Kutengin, spokesman of the association, said they would continue to battle the reconstruction project. "Marmaris Bay is not open sea, it is like a lake," said Kutengin. "If the port is expanded, more ships will come to Marmaris and large ships will harm underwater flora and the ecologic balance."

Earlier last month, the management of the Marmaris Port said it would hold a referendum to ask residents of the county whether the port should be expanded.

"Even if the ministry approves the project, we will hold a referendum anyway," said Doğan Tu**** director of port management.