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Aliaga Industrial Conflicts, Turkey

This case form has been translated for your convenience by voluntary translators. Therefore, they may contain errors. Any discrepancies or differences created in translating this content from the original version into another language are not binding and have no legal effect. If any questions arise related to the accuracy of the information contained in these translations, please refer to the original version of the case in: Turkish


Aliaga is a heavily industrialized area on the coast of the Aegean Sea. Due to high rates of pollution, the region is almost a death zone. Aliaga district has been contaminated by negligently increasing investments. Among these are oil refineries, petrochemical and waste incineration facilities, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) filling facilities and storage tanks, hazardous shipbreaking yards, ports, imported coalyards, junkyards, fertilizer factories, rolling mill plants, 6 arc furnaced iron steel facilities, hazardous factory waste grounds, iron steel sub-industry and casting facilities, logistics facilities, 3 natural gas and oil fired thermic power plants. When one takes into consideration the Bakircay region, the northern axis of Izmir has been completely discarded with the pollutions of Bergama gold mine, Maltepe organized leather industrial zone, paper mill and Aliaga Organized Industrial Zone (ALOSBI). Increasing investments that are ongoing for 30 years have long exceeded their sustainable limit. 6 arc furnace iron steel factories operate next to each other and a seventh one is being planned. The region has also become uninhabitable with the rolling mill plants and sub-industry facilities. Furthermore, the project threatens the 3000 year old ancient town of Kyme, the posidonia meadows in Nemrut Bay, the water catchment area and forests in the Ilipinar Golyuzu area with the oxide layers, dross and furnace flue dust that will be released.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Aliaga Industrial Conflicts, Turkey
State or province:Izmir
Location of conflict:Aliaga
Accuracy of locationMEDIUM (Regional level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Industrial and Utilities conflicts
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Chemical industries
Ship-breaking yards
Landfills, toxic waste treatment, uncontrolled dump sites
Metal refineries
Manufacturing activities
Specific commodities:Rare metals
Sand, gravel
Toxic Waste
Industrial waste
Natural Gas
Recycled Metals
Crude oil
Iron ore
Manufactured Products
Chemical products
Project Details and Actors
Project details

Type of populationSemi-urban
Affected Population:4-5 million
Start of the conflict:1975
Company names or state enterprises:PETKIM from Turkey
Turkish Petroleum Refineries Co (TUPRAS) from Turkey
Ege Fertilizer Co. from Turkey
Viking Paper and Cellulose Co. from Turkey
Relevant government actors:Ministry of Environment and Urbanisation, local authorities (Dikili, Memenen and Foca Town Councils, Union of Aeagean Coastal Municipalities, Karliyaka Municipality)
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Foca Environment and Culture Platform (FOCEP), Aegean Environment and Culture Platform (EGECEP), Aliaga Democracy Platform, TMMOB, Greenpeace, Izmir Bar Association
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Local ejos
Recreational users
Local scientists/professionals
Villagers, trade chambers
Forms of mobilization:Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Development of alternative proposals
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Media based activism/alternative media
Objections to the EIA
Public campaigns
Referendum other local consultations
Street protest/marches
Appeals/recourse to economic valuation of the environment
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Desertification/Drought, Fires, Food insecurity (crop damage), Global warming, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Soil contamination, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity, Mine tailing spills
Potential: Genetic contamination, Waste overflow
Health ImpactsVisible: Accidents, Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Malnutrition, Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Occupational disease and accidents, Deaths, Other environmental related diseases
Other Health impactsPoisoning of Land, Water, Food
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Violations of human rights, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Other socio-economic impactsLoss of income, difficulties in access to water
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Corruption
Criminalization of activists
Deaths, Assassinations, Murders
Violent targeting of activists
Proposal and development of alternatives:The alternative solution is to immediately review the current situation, not to allow any new factories and ensure effective monitoring through the rehabilitation of existing facilities. Energy intensive and low value-added arc furnaced iron steel factories should no longer be allowed. Immediate closure of hazardous shipbreaking yards and waste incineration units, removing dangerous factory waste disposal sites from forested areas, putting junkyards to enclosed spaces and the rehabilitation of existing facilities.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:There are no ongoing litigations. Neighbourhood rights lawsuits are still pending.
Sources & Materials
Juridical relevant texts related to the conflict (laws, legislations, EIAs, etc)

After the new planned development ideals put forward by the 1961 constitution, Aliaga was declared as one of the heavy industry zones in the mid 1960s. This declaration is commonly known as 'Declaration of the heavy industry zone.'

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

Academic article 'Air pollution in Izmir' (by Prof Abdurrahman Bayram, in Turkish):
[click to view]

Sponza D, Karaoglu N., Environmental geochemistry and pollution studies of Aliaga metal industry district.
[click to view]

FOCEP Website:
[click to view]

Facebook group for FOCEP:
[click to view]

Report by TMMOB Izmir Branch 'Aliaga Area Evaluation Report', June 2012 (in Turkish):
[click to view]

Greenpeace report, 2002, in Turkish:
[click to view]

Hurriyet, in Turkish,
[click to view]

Greenpeace report on shipbreaking yards in Izmir, in Turkish:
[click to view]

News on the view of the Environment Commission of the Parliament, in Turkish:
[click to view]

News on sea pollution in Izmir, in Turkish:
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

FOCEP Facebook group:
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Bahadir Doguturk on behalf of BOG
Last update18/08/2019
Conflict ID:1026
Legal notice / Aviso legal
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