Behind Tayyibe Demirel's olive groves in southwest Turkey lies a vast, grey expanse, stripped bare by a coal mine eating into the rolling hillside. On the horizon, heavy smoke billows from three giant chimneys of the power plant by the town of Yatagan.
Determined to save her land and village, Demirel, a 64-year-old grandmother, has singlehandedly taken on the operators extending the mine to feed what is one of Turkey's largest power plants.
Five villages have already disappeared as mines serving the Yatagan power station have expanded, and Demirel's village of Turgut is now threatened. Across the province of Mugla 5,000 hectares, the equivalent of nearly 8,000 football fields, has been lost to mining in the last four decades, campaigners say.
Asked about its plans to expand the mine, Yatagan Power Plant told Reuters it has planted more than 1.5 million trees in the region and its operations respect the environment and are carried out under supervision of relevant Turkish ministries.
Limak, operating another plant in the region, told Reuters its production meets 5% of Turkey's power demand, with 1,050 mW installed capacity. The company added that its land purchasing practices were in line with laws and regulations.
But the determination of villagers and women like Demirel means there is still room for optimism, she insisted.
"Women are carrying out an incredible fight against this unjust coal business. They were very successful in stopping or slowing down the progression of the mines."
Looking out from her fields of olives to the open pit mine, Demirel says that a few years earlier the area had been carpeted with tulips, poppies and daisies. "Which is better, a hell pit or nature?" she said.
PHOTO EDITING MARIKA KOCHIASHVILI; DOMINIC EVANS AND RAISSA KASOLOWSKY; LAYOUT JULIA DALRYMPLE.