November Eco-Tidbits from Turkey


A sun-powered vehicle designed by Turkish students (left) won an award in Australia, while one of Turkey's new high-speed trains derailed. Photos by Istanbul Technical University Solar Car Team (left) and Turkish State Railways.

November was a celebratory month for expats and Turks alike, with the American holiday of Thanksgiving falling on the same weekend as Kurban Bayramı, the Muslim Feast of the Sacrifice. On the environmental front, there was, as always, news worth cheering and ruing, developments that prompted reactions of both "süper" (yep, just like in English, but with an umlaut) and "maalesef" (unfortunately):Süper!

  • A solar car designed by students from Istanbul Technical University won the "Best Newcomer" award at the World Solar Challenge in Australia.

  • University students and local residents in the Aegean town of Milas planted 8,000 trees in an effort to combat deforestation caused by population growth and industrialization.

  • Environmentalists in six Turkish cities marched to raise awareness about soil erosion, which contributes to desertification.

  • Istanbul hosted experts from around the world at the International Waste to Energy Symposium. Two plants under construction in the city will turn methane gas into power, while the firm that built a recycling facility at the Ankara landfill plans to establish one in the Mediterranean city of Adana as well.

Maalesef...
  • An area designated for wildlife protection in the Aksu Valley, in the eastern province of Erzurum, is being destroyed to build hydroelectric power plants. Local residents are fighting the construction work, which they say will dry up important river sources and disrupt human and animal inhabitants alike.

  • Another Turkish worker has died of silicosis. Hacı Ünal, 24, was the 44th person to fatally contract the lung disease from manually sandblasting denim fabric.

  • Two of the country's touted transit improvements experienced high-profile accidents: First, an Istanbul metrobus veered onto the main highway, striking another vehicle, after two out-of-control cars entered its designated lane. Later that same week, a high-speed train derailed 135 miles west of the capital city of Ankara.

  • Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yıldız said the government remains determined to build a nuclear power plant after a court ruling forces energy authorities to scrap the construction contract previously won by the sole bidder.

Previous wrap-ups of Turkish environmental news:
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
May Eco-Tidbits from Turkey

Tags: Activism | Alternative Energy | Animals | Buses | Dams | Denim | Desertification | Solar Technology | Trains | Turkey

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