Shocked by the destruction of a forest of ancient olive trees amid the environmental degradation of a coal mine, a young businessman from Datça has initiated an extraordinary eco-project.
Building engineer Timur Kabaklarlı, 32, now owns 1,500 olive trees after seeing the centuries-old trees being cut for coal mining. During a business trip to Bodrum in February, Kabaklarlı stopped off to see the ancient city of Stratoika, near the Yeşilbağcılar town of Yatağan.
“I was chatting with a guard and he told me about a nearby coal mine. I had never seen a coal mine, so I went to check it out,” Kabaklarlı said. “The scene was terrifying! Bulldozers and trucks were everywhere. The trees were being destroyed one after the other. The villagers were bustling around to save at least the bodies of their olive trees to sell to local bakeries.”
After the first shock, our young businessman thought that he must help those old olive trees survive. Although he had no experience with olive planting, he decided to buy some of the oldest trees from the villagers. However, it was not easy to leave the rest to be cut, which were aged 50 to 400 years. After all the bargaining, he found that he had 1,500 trees to move from the mining area.
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