October Eco-Tidbits from Turkey
Environmentalists marched in Istanbul to demand solutions to climate change (L) while members of Greenpeace (R) face jail time for protesting plans to build Turkey's first nuclear power plant. Photos: 350.org (L), Greenpeace Akdeniz (R).
Environmentalists in Turkey came out in force for the 10/10/10 Global Work Party organized by 350.org, marching and biking in Istanbul, Ankara, Kars, and İzmir to raise awareness about climate change. Other environmental developments meanwhile continued apace this month, bringing news that prompted reactions of "süper" (yep, just like in English, but with an umlaut) and "maalesef" (unfortunately):Süper!
- Organic farming projects in Turkey will receive support for training, soil analysis, and certification through a government agency in order to boost the organic industry in the country.
- The Turkish government has signed a deal with carmaker Renault to promote and implement electric cars in the capital city of Ankara. A charging network for electric vehicles will be launched next year and 100 electric vehicles will be purchased for the municipal fleet.
- A growing number of people are participating in an annual cycling tour in the Mediterranean resort town of Bodrum, an event that aims to raise awareness about environmental issues, the positive effects of cycling on health, and the dangers cyclists face due to traffic.
- The owners of a popular organic market in Bodrum have found a permanent home, establishing a full-time shop in the town for organic fruits and vegetables.
- Istanbul Technical University has developed an efficient electric minibus and is seeking investor support to help mass-produce the vehicles for use in Turkey.
- Nearly 60 environmental activists face up to three years in jail for an anti-nuclear demonstration they staged over the summer in Ankara. The 58 people, including many Greenpeace members, are accused of breaking the law that regulates protests.
- Plans to build a large nickel mine that uses sulfuric acid to extract the metal from surrounding rock threaten to devastate an important natural area in Turkey's Aegean region. Construction of the mine would destroy tens of thousands of trees and put the Gediz River Basin at risk of widespread soil contamination, residents and activists say.
- Producers of organic honey in Turkey's eastern Black Sea region are seeing a drop of up to 50 percent in their harvests as bee deaths increase, something they believe may be due to the use of pesticides in the area.
- Accidents at sea are creating environmental pollution near the Mediterranean resort city of Antalya, where maritime officials are engaging in simulation drills to prepare them for dealing with dangerous spills of oil and toxic chemicals.
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