Photos: Saving a Turkish olive field from coal mines

  • Behind Tayyibe Demirel's olive groves in southwest Turkey lies a vast, grey expanse, stripped bare by a coal mine eating into the rolling hillside. Last month, she won a court case against the expansion of the mine towards her village, and armed with the information she uncovered from an earlier court ruling that said olive groves must be protected, she also won the appeal in the higher court. Her court victory halted plans for mine expansion, but Demirel fears her six-acre property is being surrounded.
PUBLISHED ON MAR 10, 2021 04:35 PM IST 8 Photos
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Tayyibe Demirel, 64, stands at the edge of her olive grove and watches the open-pit coal mine in Turgut village near Yatagan in Mugla province, Turkey, on February 25.(Umit Bektas / REUTERS)

Tayyibe Demirel, 64, stands at the edge of her olive grove and watches the open-pit coal mine in Turgut village near Yatagan in Mugla province, Turkey, on February 25.(Umit Bektas / REUTERS)

PUBLISHED ON MAR 10, 2021 04:35 PM IST
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An aerial view of an open-pit coal mine and olive groves of Turgut village, near Yatagan, on February 25. Determined to save her land and village, Demirel has singlehandedly taken on the operators extending the mine to feed what is one of Turkey's largest power plants.(Umit Bektas / REUTERS)

An aerial view of an open-pit coal mine and olive groves of Turgut village, near Yatagan, on February 25. Determined to save her land and village, Demirel has singlehandedly taken on the operators extending the mine to feed what is one of Turkey's largest power plants.(Umit Bektas / REUTERS)

PUBLISHED ON MAR 10, 2021 04:35 PM IST
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Smoke rises from Yatagan thermal power plant near Yatagan, on February 24. Campaigners told Reuters that pollution from the coal mined and burned at Yatagan, 40 km (25 miles) from some of Turkey's Mediterranean and Aegean beach resorts, has led to major health and environmental damage.(Umit Bektas / REUTERS)

Smoke rises from Yatagan thermal power plant near Yatagan, on February 24. Campaigners told Reuters that pollution from the coal mined and burned at Yatagan, 40 km (25 miles) from some of Turkey's Mediterranean and Aegean beach resorts, has led to major health and environmental damage.(Umit Bektas / REUTERS)

PUBLISHED ON MAR 10, 2021 04:35 PM IST
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Abandoned houses and a mosque of Isikdere neighbourhood at Ikizkoy village near Milas, in Mugla province. Five villages have already disappeared as mines serving the Yatagan power station have expanded. Across the province of Mugla 5,000 hectares, the equivalent of nearly 8,000 football fields, has been lost to mining in the last four decades, campaigners told Reuters.(Umit Bektas / REUTERS)

Abandoned houses and a mosque of Isikdere neighbourhood at Ikizkoy village near Milas, in Mugla province. Five villages have already disappeared as mines serving the Yatagan power station have expanded. Across the province of Mugla 5,000 hectares, the equivalent of nearly 8,000 football fields, has been lost to mining in the last four decades, campaigners told Reuters.(Umit Bektas / REUTERS)

PUBLISHED ON MAR 10, 2021 04:35 PM IST
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Tayyibe Demirel collects wild greens from her olive grove in Turgut village, near Yatagan, on March 2. Last month, she won a court case against the expansion of the mine towards her village and, armed with the information she uncovered from an earlier court ruling that said olive groves must be protected, she also won the appeal at the higher court, Reuters reported.(Umit Bektas / REUTERS)

Tayyibe Demirel collects wild greens from her olive grove in Turgut village, near Yatagan, on March 2. Last month, she won a court case against the expansion of the mine towards her village and, armed with the information she uncovered from an earlier court ruling that said olive groves must be protected, she also won the appeal at the higher court, Reuters reported.(Umit Bektas / REUTERS)

PUBLISHED ON MAR 10, 2021 04:35 PM IST
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A view shows a lake which is an ash dam composed of the ash produced from burning coal in Yatagan thermal power plant and the wastewater discharged from the power plant near Yatagan in Mugla province, on February 24. Demirel’s victory in court halted plans for mine expansion, but she fears her six-acre property is being surrounded.(Umit Bektas / REUTERS)

A view shows a lake which is an ash dam composed of the ash produced from burning coal in Yatagan thermal power plant and the wastewater discharged from the power plant near Yatagan in Mugla province, on February 24. Demirel’s victory in court halted plans for mine expansion, but she fears her six-acre property is being surrounded.(Umit Bektas / REUTERS)

PUBLISHED ON MAR 10, 2021 04:35 PM IST
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Tayyibe Demirel, seen in her olive grove in Turgut village, near Yatagan, on March 2. "All the land around will be dug and plundered, and the olive grove will be stuck in the middle," Demirel told Reuters.(Umit Bektas / REUTERS)

Tayyibe Demirel, seen in her olive grove in Turgut village, near Yatagan, on March 2. "All the land around will be dug and plundered, and the olive grove will be stuck in the middle," Demirel told Reuters.(Umit Bektas / REUTERS)

PUBLISHED ON MAR 10, 2021 04:35 PM IST
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Tayyibe Demirel with children in Turgut village, near Yatagan. The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL), a European non-profit organisation measuring the impact of pollution estimated that the healthcare costs of coal power generation in Turkey is up to 5.9 billion euros per year, Reuters reported.(Umit Bektas / REUTERS)

Tayyibe Demirel with children in Turgut village, near Yatagan. The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL), a European non-profit organisation measuring the impact of pollution estimated that the healthcare costs of coal power generation in Turkey is up to 5.9 billion euros per year, Reuters reported.(Umit Bektas / REUTERS)

PUBLISHED ON MAR 10, 2021 04:35 PM IST
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