Murat Özgöl / Izmit, July 14 () - Locals of Dilovası, an industrial zone close to Istanbul, have halted their three-day protest against the bad smell emanating from a waste facility, after local officials said the facility will be closed as of 2016.
The protest started four days ago against the waste facility established in 2006 by the İzmit Waste And Residue Treatment Incineration Recycling Company (İZAYDAŞ), working under the Kocaeli Municipality.
Local administrator Hulusi Şahin persuaded locals early on July 13 to halt their protest, after promising that the facility will be closed in the coming years.
The protesters marched in the district and blocked the road to waste trucks near the facility. They also criticized officials for enlarging the capacity of the facility over the years and collecting waste from neighboring districts.
Science, Industry and Technology Minister Fikri Işık had pledged to close down the waste storage area altogether as of 2016, speaking at an iftar dinner in Kocaeli three days ago.
However, protests continued as locals said they wanted a concrete solution to the problem, demanding that the facility stop accepting waste from other districts. They also wanted the authorities to investigate the reasons for the bad smell.
Industrialization in Dilovası started in the 1960s, since when the town has been an industrial center as its geographical position is favorable for highway, sea and rail transportation. Dilovası’s industrial development has been uncontrolled, leading to heavy pollution and spiraling rates of serious diseases and cancer, according to local residents.
There are now five organized industrial regions, one industrial site, 193 industrial organizations and more than 20,000 employees in the region. The population of the town, through which the E-5 and TEM highways pass, is about 45,000.