World Bulletin / News Desk
Local people of Akkuyu town in southern province of Mersin, selected as home to Turkey's first nuclear power plant, split over the plant.
Some of them say the nuclear plant would create jobs, bring side income to town and invigorate local economy, but some other fear that it would upset the natural balance in the region, Anadolu Agency said.
Turkish government is determined to build country's first nuclear power plant in Akkuyu. On Thursday, Turkish parliament approved a bill on agreement between Turkey and Russia on construction of Akkuyu nuclear power plant. The parliament enacted the bill approving the cooperation agreement signed by Turkey and Russia in the Turkish capital of Ankara on May 12, 2010.
Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz had recently said, "residents of the region support us. We respect ideas of everybody but manipulations on nuclear energy power plants are not right."
The place chosen for the nuclear power plant is surrounded by beaches and farm lands. It is fenced since 1976 and guarded 24 hours a day.
Mehmet Kale, mayor of the town, is one of the naysayers. Kale says, "Akkuyu is a heaven where blue and green meet in perfect harmony."
He says Turkey definitely needs a nuclear power plant, but not in a town in the middle of a place on the Mediterranean shores.
Kale says he will invite ministers and lawmakers who voted "yes" for the construction of the plant to show beauties of Akkuyu.
"We will take a boat tour and show them around. This is a unique place with its beauty on earth," he says.
Akkuyu nuclear power plant will have a total capacity of 4,800 megawatts. Its capacity is expected to be equal to 14 percent of the energy Turkey currently generates.
Earlier, a group of Greenpeace activists submitted 170,000 signatures, collected against the erection of the nuclear power stations, to members of the Turkish Parliament from the Republican People's Party (CHP) and Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) on Tuesday.
The power plant will have the total capacity of 4,800 MW.
The nuclear energy power plant is expected to meet 14 percent of the energy Turkey currently generates.