December Eco-Tidbits from Turkey
Expectations from this month's United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Copenhagen were dashed in Turkey, as they were in many places around the world. December also saw Turkey open the environment chapter in its negotiations to join the European Union, a process that would involve implementing new environmental legislation to match EU standards on air and water quality. Other eco-related developments didn't make the headline news, but still prompted reactions of both "süper" (yep, just like in English, but with an umlaut) and "maalesef" (unfortunately):Süper!
- Farmers and producers on the Italian island of Sardinia are helping those on the Turkish Aegean island of Gökçeada expand their organic offerings and promote agritourism as part of a European Union-supported project.
- The coastal Aegean town of Seferihisar became Turkey's first official "slow city"; city officials plan to take traffic-calming measures, establish vegetable gardens, and promote slow-food-certified cafes and local handicrafts.
- Farmers in the Beyşehir Lake area are being encouraged to stop killing wolves, which are natural predators of the wild boars that are causing increasing amounts of damage to local crops.
- A group of fisherman from the Gulf of İğneada area won a legal battle to halt construction of an industrial pier that would have required filling in part of the gulf. According to the fishermen, potential ecosystem damage, air pollution, and other environmental concerns related to the project were not taken into consideration in the plans.
- Turkey's fourth-largest lake and an important source of drinking water, Lake Eğirdir is badly contaminated by agricultural runoff and wastewater, and ecologically diminished by overfishing. According to WWF-Turkey, its crawfish and carp are nearly extinct.
- Excessive hunting is threatening the country's population of blue crabs, the most lucrative species found in Turkish waters.
- Flamingos did not make their annual trip to the Tuzla wetlands near Bodrum for the first time this year, according to locals, who say both industrial and residential pollution are putting the ecosystem at risk.
- Istanbul's bus and metrobus stations are inaccessible to people in wheelchairs and those with other disabilities, say protesters, who received little support from the general public or the police.
- The planned construction of hydroelectric power plants threatens natural resources and tourism around both the Yuvarlak Çay River in southwestern Turkey and the İkizdere district of the northern city of Rize.
Previous wrap-ups of Turkish environmental news:
November Eco-Tidbits from Turkey
October Eco-Tidbits from Turkey
September Eco-Tidbits from Turkey
August Eco-Tidbits from Turkey
July Eco-Tidbits from Turkey
June Eco-Tidbits from Turkey