No to tree-cutting plan .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;} MARMARİS - Environmentalists’ bid to stop the erection of a power line in Muğla prove fruitful. The Ministry of Environment and Forestry stops the project and forces the electric company to find a new route. ’Thousands of trees are saved with now,’ said a local administrator, hailing the decision

A total of 95 pine trees were cut down along a power line without permission from the Turkey Electricity Transmission, Inc, or TEİAŞ, in the Muğla region city of Marmaris last December.

Upon demands from environmentalists and village people to cancel the project, the protocol was reshaped to "pass the power line through the burnt forest areas." The environmentalists and Çetibeli village residents welcomed the cancelation of the project.

The Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources decided to renew the old high-voltage lines, which supply energy to Marmaris, and signed a protocol with the Ministry of Environment and Forestry. TEİAŞ planned to install the high-voltage wires through a new route instead of following the first protocol in order to decrease the total costs of the power line between Gökova and Marmaris.

The TEİAŞ teams started the work for land identification last December because it was necessary to set up the power line in a 50-meter treeless area in a forest region.

The Forest Management teams took the case to court on the grounds that the TEİAŞ teams cut 95 pine trees without permission. The environmentalists and the villagers petitioned by demanding the power line be passed through the treeless area, and appealed to the Prime Ministry and the Presidency.

Back to former project

The resistance by the villagers and environmentalists proved fruitful. The teams from and the Ministry for Environment and Forestry decided to pass the power line through the treeless area.

"The Ministry of Environment and Forestry heard the voice of the village in the end. The application of the new project would mean the culling of thousands of trees. The new decision saved all these trees," said Özgür Özden, headman of Çetibeli Village.

"We will resist those people or organizations that intend to harm the environment in every possible way. It is rather wrong to cut the existing trees instead of using the already treeless area for the power line project. We could not permit that. On the other hand, the investigation regarding the trees already cut without any permission is still going on. It is very satisfactory to decide for the right step in the end," said Filiz Ersan, group leader of Marmaris Environment Volunteers.

The authorities from the Forest Management also said they were against the cutting of the trees and voted for the application of the former project.