“This story was initially published as part of the The International People’s Platform for Climate Justice project”
The olive tree has been the symbol of Milas region in Muğla, Turkey since the Carian civilization, and the people of Milas have been cultivating the olive for 4 thousand years. Today, Milas is accepted as the capital of olives and olive oil in Turkey. “The eternal tree” is a part of Anatolia’s culture; it is a heritage that should be preserved and passed on to future generations. Despite this, two power plants have been poisoning Milas and coal mining activities have been destroying the livelihoods of the people for the last 40 years…
Yet, a new report named “Transition Opportunity for Local Economy: Olive Sector in Milas, Muğla, Turkey” underlines that it is possible to develop the local economy without relying on polluters. The report signifies that investments in olive production can be accelerated by the state subsidies that are granted to the two coal power plants in Milas over the course of just one year. And if the necessary promotion and certification processes are implemented, the value of olive oil may increase from 0.4 million Euro to 5.7 million Euro at 2021 prices.
Today, defenders of this ancient tree (notably İkizköy villagers) are resisting the coal expansion to protect the past, the present, and the future of Milas. Watch the story of the eternal tree and fight against the polluters in Milas.
Videographer: Selen Çatalyürekli