Flamingo populations are on the rise in Turkey. Unfortunately, so is the amount of improperly disposed medical waste. Photos by suneko via Flickr (left) and Today's Zaman (right).
This past month was anything but short on developments of interest to environmentalists, with a deal being inked to build the Nabucco natural-gas pipeline, European funders pulling out of the controversial IlÄ±su Dam project, and the final stage of Turkey's ban on indoor smoking going into effect.
Though those big stories may have dominated the media landscape, there was other eco-news of note in Turkey too, developments that prompted reactions of both "sÃ¼per" (yep, just like in English, but with an umlaut) and "maalesef" (unfortunately):SÃ¼per!
- Higher-than-average rainfall has led to a "baby boom" of flamingos at Lake Tuz, where 10,000 of the birds hatched this year.
- Scientists have launched a project to identify animal species, including desert rats, jerboas, and vultures, living on and around Mount AÄŸrÄ± (Mount Ararat) in northeastern Turkey -- famous as the biblical resting place of Noah's Ark -- as the first part of an effort to protect the area's diverse wildlife.
- Turkish and U.S. government agencies have formed a clean-energy partnership that will train Turkish officials in energy-planning tools and help the country develop its renewable-energy potential. Turkey and Chile are also discussing opportunities to cooperate on renewables.
- Local officials in MuÄŸla, on Turkey's southern Aegean coast, have instituted a "blue card" system to help track pollution from boats cruising the area's bays.
- A TekirdaÄŸ industrial zone that produces 37 percent of the leather made in Turkey has built a waste-treatment plant to keep its drainage water from contaminating the nearby Ã‡orlu Stream, while the Mediterranean town of Marmaris is reopening a solid-waste treatment plant that was shut down two years ago because the private firm that owned it thought it was not making enough profit.
- A cycling group from the northwestern city of Bursa rode 906 kilometers to the Mediterranean town of Fethiye to raise awareness about pollution and encourage bicycle use.
- Construction has been banned near the Manavgat Waterfall in Antalya by a decision that declared it a "natural asset that needs to be preserved." One academic, though, says the area has already been irreparably damaged by development.
- Local environmentalists in the Aegean region say training exercises for firefighting planes have caused the death of thousands of birds on Lake Bafa by flooding the area with water, destroying nests and killing young chicks. The government denies the claims.
- Polluting fish farms forced to relocate from the shores of GÃ¼llÃ¼k Bay have littered the area by leaving behind their old cages, nets, and barrels.
- A new zoning plan that would allow construction in a woodland area near Ä°zmir threatens the region's thermal springs and pine and olive trees, the Ä°zmir Chamber of Architects says.
- According to a recent government report, 75 percent of medical waste is being improperly disposed of in Turkey, with much of it buried underground.
- GÃ¶kova Bay, the subject of a lauded environmental protection effort, is threatened anew by plans to build a 1,400-bed hotel in the area.
Previous wrap-ups of Turkish environmental news:
June Eco-Tidbits from Turkey
May Eco-Tidbits from Turkey
April Eco-Tidbits from Turkey
March Eco-Tidbits from Turkey
February Eco-Tidbits from Turkey
January Eco-Tidbits from Turkey