September Eco-Tidbits from Turkey
As Istanbul cleans up and dries out from massive floods earlier this month and prepares for the World Bank/IMF meetings in early October, we once again wrap up the latest eco-related news from Turkey, developments that prompted reactions of both "süper" (yep, just like in English, but with an umlaut) and "maalesef" (unfortunately):Süper!
- Turkey and 90 other members of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations agreed to the first-ever global treaty focused specifically on combating illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing.
- Greenpeace lent its support to a campaign by the Seferihisar Municipality to protect the endangered Mediterranean bluefin tuna from commercial extinction. Mediterranean countries in the European Union recently refused to back even a temporary ban on catching the popular sushi fish.
- Turkey agreed to supply more water to drought-stricken Iraq as part of new water, energy, and trade agreements.
- Mayors in the region around Bergama have come out in support of villagers who are fighting plans to build gold mines on the Kozak Plateau. Construction of the mines would damage the natural environment, agricultural lands, and the area's crucial pine-nut industry, locals say.
- Three local forestry officials were detained near İzmir for illegally hunting wild rabbits.
- Poachers are also defying a ban on hunting white hawks, which are in danger of extinction, trapping the birds on Turkey's Taurus Mountains. According to the newspaper Today's Zaman, hawks "can be sold for up to 40,000 to 50,000 Turkish Liras in Middle Eastern countries such Syria, where they are reportedly used as drug couriers."
- Overuse of pesticides, urbanization, the drying up of lagoons, and hunting for export to France are endangering the Turkish frog (Rana holtzi) and the European tree frog (Hyla arborea), both of which are now said to be facing extinction.
- Heavy rains in the Black Sea province of Ordu filled mines in the region, causing them to overflow lead-contaminated water into the Melet River, an important source of of drinking water for the city.
- Continued dumping from fish farms and unregulated building have polluted more than 20 coves in Güllük Bay, say local residents who protested the situation earlier this month.