Under the title “We swallowed up the mountains and the scenery has changed”, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (08.08.17), on its front page, reports that until today 341 “permissions” have been “granted” for stone quarries since 1975. Only 36 stone quarries are active from the existing 56.
According to data, during the years 1975-1984 112 stone quarries were “granted permission”, during the years 1985-1994, this number raised to 149. During the years 1995-2004, there was a serious regression to the “permissions” and only 63 stone quarries had “permission”. While during the period 2005-2014, only 17 stone quarries were “granted permissions”. Since 2015, no “permission” was “granted”.
From the existing 56 stone quarries, the 21 are for quarrying float stones, the 19 are for quarrying crushed sand and gravel, the 12 for building stones, 3 for gypsum stone and one for river sand grave.
The paper also reports that environmental organizations reacted to the environmental damage caused by the stone quarries, especially in the occupied area of Kythrea.
Metin Ulug, chairman of the “stone quarries association”, argued that the number of the stone quarries, which was surplus in the past, has been reduced to a normal level now. He explained that the number of stone quarries for quarry?ng crushed sand and gravel are 14 and they do not have any clear information regarding the other stone quarries. Ulug further said that all the stone quarries continue their works in an intense way.
Meanwhile, Dogan Sahir, the general secretary of the Green Action Group, stressed that the undermining of the mountains has resulted due to the fact that there is no planning and the needs are not determined. He further said that the necessary measures should be taken in order to protect the “mountains”.