Greek and Turkish Cypriots form human chain to protest against nuclear power plant in Turkey

Several non-governmental organisations and political parties from the two sides of the island gathered on Wednesday afternoon and formed a human chain in the buffer zone between the two sides to protest against the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant being constructed in Mersin, Turkey. 

Activists meeting at Home for Cooperation pointed out the potential environmental hazards building a nuclear power plant a short distance from the north coast of Cyprus coast.

The protestors conveyed the following message “An accident or leak will endanger the lives of thousands of people, apart from the great destruction it will cause to the environment in the Eastern Mediterranean region“. They also pointed to the Chernobyl disaster in 1986. The cause of which was said to be reactor design flaws and human error.

Forming a human chain, the activists, said, “We once again shout out loud that we are against the construction of the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant on the 36th Anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster”. They then held candles to commemorate the victims of Chernobyl.

There have been anti-nuclear protests in the past, for example in April 2006, plans to build a nuclear reactor on the Ince peninsula caused a large anti-nuclear demonstration in the Turkish city of Sinop. Greenpeace, who have expressed concerns over earthquakes and the ability of the authorities to protect the public, have opposed these proposals. There are concerns that no site for the waste has yet been selected. In 2022 an opposition MP in Mersin said he was against Akkuyu because it is 51% owned by Russian state-owned nuclear energy company Rosatom. [Wiki]

The nuclear power debate has a long history, with the start of its construction start in Mersin Province in 2018. [Wiki]

The first power unit at the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant is expected to come online in 2023. However there are some doubts as to that given the effects of the pandemic and the currently strained relations between Turkey and Russia caused by the war in Ukraine. {Ed}

Source: LGC News

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