I heard, then read about the cutting tens of thousands of trees on Mt. Ida, a.k.a Kaz Dagi as they call it in Turkish. Apparently, the Turkish government allowed a Canadian company to explore for gold on Kaz Dagi. To facilitate the explorations, a huge area was shaved clean to make room for vehicles and excavation. The first images I saw were quite shocking, the top of the mountain, a large swath of land was barren, no trees anywhere. Here is a view of the bald mountain, the photograph is from Sozcu newspaper:
There are protests, investigations, interviews all attempting to stop this project for a variety of reasons. The trees are gone, it is irreversible, although the government claims that they have planted 14,000 new trees somewhere. The current concern is the mining and exploration process, which will apparently use cyanide. The environmental and human health consequences of using highly toxic materials are very concerning. Thus, the protests and demonstrations.
The Canadian company, Alamos Gold, Inc., claims that they had no involvement with the cutting of the trees, and it was carried by the Ministry of Forestry and Agriculture of Turkey. And they, in turn, dispute the number of trees being cut, as well as the location being away from Mt. Ida (Kaz Dagi.)
My purpose in writing this is not to report what is right and what is wrong, the facts are too far removed from me. I wanted to write this post and share my experience of visiting Mt. Ida when I was in Ayvalik in 2012. We took a ride to a small village, Kalkim, with Binnaz and Ergun. Although the village was underwhelming, the journey was quite enchanting, Hanlar location in particular, with majestic plane trees. I took many photographs on the hills of Mt. Ida. Now, I would like to share the trees of Mt. Ida in memory of the trees the mountain and the country have lost.
Who knows, maybe some of these trees I photographed were among the casualties of gold mining. But, in any case, I hope that these photographs and the downloadable PDF book can help save the memories of the trees lost forever. Feel free to download, save, and enjoy the book. It is my very small contribution to the memory, history, and dignity of Mt. Ida.
Here are some links to various media reporting of the related events. A search will provide many more sources:
Feel free to add more links to the related news by writing a comment. I will permit all civilized comments and the links they may have.
Here is the PDF file download. (A click will start a download to your device)
Here are the photographs