In Black Sea province of Artvin, inhabitants have been protesting a company's efforts to extract mine in Cerattepe region, with support of police and military officers, in armed vehicles.
Police and military officers recently intervened the protest with tear gas after locals refused to disperse and open the traffic. Security officers pushed opposition MPs and locals back to reach the mine spot.
Locals waiting on hills in Cerattepe region refused to step back, while police officers intervened with batons and tear gas.
Police teams have withdrawn forces to let health officers help people who were affected by tear gas. The locals continue to resist against the mine company's vehicles to pass through the town to the mine region.
300 cars block road of mining
The tense waiting of Artvin residents continue, as people hit streets and blocked traffic with their vehicles from late Feb. 15. Meanwhile, the Artvin State Hospital was alarmed for additional ambulances and health officers, expecting an intervention from security forces.
Tradesmen went out of business and hanged notes on their doors reading “If security forces intervene Cerattepe, this shop will be closed”.
Mine company officials, heavy equipment and containers headed to the region with accompaniment of riot police and gendarmerie teams deployed from six neighboring provinces. Trucks were deployed in a bid to tow around 300 cars and vehicles of protesters that have blocked the traffic.
NGOs and opposition party MPs supported around three thousand Artvin residents. Meanwhile, riot police teams set up a barricade between the company's vehicles and residents.
Main opposition Republican People's Party MP Uğur Bayraktan told he feared of violence in the near future as police forces and citizens have come face to face.
Bayraktan stressed he has called Minister of Food Agriculture and Lifestock Faruk Çelik to express the edge of the tension, and urged Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu to find a solution.
“We defend our right to live and we will not stand back. Police and gendarmerie protects the company's vehicles, however the state should be standing with us” slammed Green Artvin Association Head Nur Neşe Karahan.