February Eco-Tidbits from Turkey
This month saw the Turkish Parliament finally ratify the Kyoto Protocol on climate change. But there were plenty of smaller steps on (and off) the road to sustainability too. Once again, we wrap up some of the month's news from Turkey, developments that prompted reactions of both "süper" (yep, just like in English, but with an umlaut) and "maalesef" (unfortunately):Süper!
- The capital city of Ankara has begun using two 10,000-ton-capacity composting tanks to process some of the municipality's 4,500 daily tons of garbage, most of which is currently buried in solid-waste yards. The composting tanks will create fertilizer and electricity.
- Four new stations were opened on Istanbul's metro line, albeit with a few initial kinks for travelers. The line now runs for 15 kilometers and future expansions are under construction.
- A new law requiring central heating for spaces larger than 1,000 square meters is expected to reduce energy consumption approximately 20 percent by 2020. The common alternative, combination boilers, are not only more inefficient, but have led to deaths from carbon-monoxide poisoning.
- An environmental group gave away reusable fabric shopping bags at an Ankara mall on Valentine's Day. The bags are now available for sale at various shopping centers around the country.
- Logging continues in the Kundu district of Antalya, on Turkey's Mediterranean coast, despite a successful lawsuit to halt construction of a golf course and holiday village.
- Cherry production is down by 80 percent in the Akşehir district of Konya after Lake Akşehir dried up. The fruit has been a major crop for farmers in the region.
- Another body of water in the Konya area, Lake Meke, is in danger of drying up too after water levels dropped below one meter, likely due to a combination of diminishing rainfall and poor water-management policies.
- The annual nature-themed Mountain Film Festival had to cancel its national and international competitions due to a lack of sponsors.