Yesterday Greenpeace volunteers opened a banner saying “Go Solar” in front of the Sabanci HeadquartersYesterday Greenpeace activists took action in Istanbul against the Sabanci Corporation who are preparing to participate in the nuclear power plant tender in Turkey. Sabanci is one of the biggest companies in Turkey with a very good reputation especially in supporting energy efficiency and renewables. Therefore the decision to take the action was difficult but correct.

Before telling you the details of the action let me give you some background about the history of nuclear power in Turkey. Well, thank God (actually thank the anti-nuclear movement in Turkey) there is no nuclear power plant in Turkey. There has been quite a few times when it was discussed, however, the most serious attempt to build a nuclear power plant being cancelled at the tender stage by the government in 2000. Once again we are here to get the current government's and company's plans cancelled.

Here is the story: Two weeks ago the Sabanci Corporation announced that they had started talks with GE-Hitachi (US) and Spain's Iberdrola as partners to tender for the nuclear power plant in Akkuyu. According to the Energy Minister Hilmi Guler, the nuclear tender is planned to be held on the 24th September 2008. Yesterday Greenpeace volunteers opened a banner saying “Go Solar” in front of the Sabanci Headquarters and announced the HQ Towers as a “Nuclear Free Zone” with the metal boards they've placed on the fence. Volunteers asked Sabanci Corporation to withdraw from the tender and to invest in renewable energies like solar which is the true solution to Turkey's energy demand and security.

The media took the story very well. We were on the first page of many newspapers and the main TV channels were talking about our action in prime time.

In the meantime Greenpeace is calling for all companies to ignore the calls from Energy Minister Hilmi Guler to enter the nuclear tendering process and instead invest in renewable energies and energy efficiency.

Be sure that we are following the tender process closely and we'll be updating you accordingly.

For more information in Turkish, visit the Greenpeace Turkey website.

This post if by Erhan Çokkececi of Greenpeace Turkey.