May Eco-Tidbits from Turkey

istanbul ferry kisebuku cove turkey photo

Increased ferry service (left) is in the works for Istanbul's Princes' Islands, while Kisebükü cove (right) on the country's southern coast is threatened by development. Photos by Jennifer Hattam (L) and Etrim Günlüğü (R).

The deaths of at least 28 coal miners in an explosion and cave-in, along with the continuing controversy over building a third Bosphorus bridge in Istanbul, topped the Turkish environmental agenda this month. But May also saw other developments both good and bad, news that prompted reactions of "süper" (yep, just like in English, but with an umlaut) and "maalesef" (unfortunately):Süper!

  • Activists won a stay on execution on a planned hydroelectric power plant in the Salarha Valley, which a court ruled needs an environmental impact assessment before going forward.

  • Chief EU negotiator Egemen Bağış and Ankara Mayor Melih Gökçek participated in a bike tour of Turkey's capital to help mark Europe Day on May 9.

  • The Turkish Transportation Ministry is planning to increase the number of night ferries running between Istanbul and the Princes' Islands off the city's coast in the Marmara Sea.

  • Construction workers at a hydroelectric power plant in the Black Sea region allegedly assaulted local residents, wounding three, when villagers tried to intervene in their dumping rocks in a creek. Residents of Deregözü Village have filled a court case to stop construction of four power plants in the region.

  • Plans to build a 1,400-bed hotel in Kisebükü cove, on the Bodrum peninsula, threaten the area's natural beauty, environmentalists say. More than 115 of Turkey's 210 Aegean and Mediterranean coves have reportedly been lost in the last decade due to the construction of tourism facilities.

  • The Istanbul municipality's plans for the city will open up many previously protected areas to development, according to city planners and academics who criticized the 2009 Environmental Plan, saying it will "harm the fabric and nature of the city."

Previous wrap-ups of Turkish environmental news:
April Eco-Tidbits from Turkey
March Eco-Tidbits from Turkey
February 2010 Eco-Tidbits from Turkey
January 2010 Eco-Tidbits from Turkey
December 2009 Eco-Tidbits from Turkey
November 2009 Eco-Tidbits from Turkey

May Eco-Tidbits from Turkey
The deaths of at least 28

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