Protest against hydropower plant and Turkish flag, 60 investigated for illegal protest and inciting hate

04/01/2018 20:11

The Prosecution of Lezha is investigating 60 persons who destroyed the Turkish flag a hydropower dam, 50 of them for an illegal protest, 10 for an illegal protest plus disobeying the police, property destruction and for encouraging hate.

On December 31st, in Fang, Mirdita, these persons were destroying the Turkish flag engraved on the hydropower plant that was built by the Turkish company “Ayen”.

The people involved in the protests told police that they, as residents, were not asked for the investment that has changed the river flow. They also added that they don’t want Turkish investments in their area.

The protest against the Turkish flag on the hydropower dam had been warned on social networks.

For Erion Perku, Director of the Hydropower plant, the protest was not expected.

“I tried to communicate with them, but it was impossible. The crowd arrived from Rreshen and we were unable to talk to them. I recognized half of them, who used to be workers of this company”, Periku said.

He explains that the placement of the flags was approved in the project. Between the Turkish and Albanian flags, there is also the logo of the company.

“The reason is to show the constant cooperation that we have had, not only between the company and the state but also with the workers”, Periku declared.

This is one of the four hydropower plants that will be built on the Fan i Madh and Fan i Vogel Rivers. The Ayen  AS Energy LLC is a merging of Turkish companies with Albanian partners.

The permit for building the hydropower plant was approved by the Council for the Regulation of Territory on December 20th, 2012.

Residents in areas around hydropower plants have protested in the past as well, almost always for not agreeing with the expropriation prices.

However, few company leaders have addressed the Albanian government with official documents to resolve these problems, including the event of December 31st, which has caused debates on social networks.

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