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New energy between Cold War foes Turkey, Russia
The survey was conducted in 2007, and the Fukushima Daiichi disaster in Japan last year has further sullied nuclear power’s reputation, he said.
Organized opposition has been limited. The site is relatively undeveloped, but road access along the craggy cliffs that tower above the Mediterranean has been upgraded.
This summer, a small tent encampment was erected in protest to raise awareness as grass-roots groups lodge legal challenges.
Opposition groups — backed by the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) — argue that the site is crisscrossed by active earthquake fault lines. Court challenges have been lodged against the site plan, but the government has not stopped construction.
“We are going to both challenge the government and draw the public’s attention through direct action,” said Sabahat Aslan, one of the protest leaders at the encampment.
Meanwhile, another site on the Black Sea coast has been identified for a second plant, but the Turkish government has been unable to find an international partner willing to build it.
“I really doubt that any other country would be in the position of financing the [build-own-operate] model. It’s pretty expensive,” he said.diplomat Sinan Ulgen, chairman of the Center for Economics and Foreign Policy Studies in Istanbul (EDAM).
The Russian commitment to the project appears unshakable publicly, but the Turkish press has raised questions about Moscow’s willingness to spend vast sums as cost projections rise.
The project’s future depends largely on the good will of the Russian government and its faith in Turkey as a strategic energy partner.
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