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20 Feb 2016

Today's Zaman

Police block protests against Turkish mine construction

Police block entry to Artvin as hundreds arrive to protest mine construction

Turkish police on Saturday prevented hundreds of people from entering the Black Sea province of Artvin, which has been scene to environmental protests against the construction of a mine complex in the Cerattepe region. The police used tear gas against the group of about 1,000 environmentalists, who tried to enter the city to join protests against a project by Cengiz Holding to open a mine in Cerattepe. The group gathered near the Cankurtaran area after the Governor's Office banned new arrivals to the city center, the Doğan news agency said. Police blocked the road to traffic to prevent entry to the city. The Governor's Office also banned announcements from public speakers, reports say.

For the past week, massive demonstrations have been held to protest the building of the complex in the Black Sea region of Cerattepe by Cengiz Holding. Construction workers arrived on Monday morning, accompanied by riot police to fend off the protesters, who were tear-gassed during their attempts to protest. The next day, the workers came back with police and gendarmes. Despite massive protests throughout the week leading to clashes with security forces, Cengiz Holding started construction of the mine under heavy security on Thursday afternoon.