Lake Bafa (left) is getting cleaned up, but power-plant construction threatens other parts of Turkey. Photos by Duru... (left) and Bill Ward's Brickpile (right) via Flickr.
Istanbul residents came out loud and strong this month as part of the International Day of Climate Action, but local environmentalists have been seeing advances (and disappointments) on other fronts as well. Once again, we 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!
- An area destroyed last year by wildfires in Antalya's Manavgat district is being reforested with 24 different species of trees in vulnerable areas to reduce the risk of future blazes.
- Interest in bird-watching is growing in the Mediterranean town of Fethiye, which hosted the EuroBirdwatch festival this month. Participants visited several important bird habitats in the area, including the Girdev plateau, the Akgöl lake and wetland, and the Kuş Cenneti or Bird Paradise, salt marsh, where 220 different species of birds have been sighted in recent years.
- Integrated solar-energy roof systems and an organic, hypoallergenic brand of cosmetics, Nvey Eco, both debuted in Turkey this month, creating more options for green consumers.
- Bird and fish populations in the Lake Bafa area have increased due to a project by the State Waterworks Authority that has helped reduce pollution from nearby olive-oil factories and villages.
- The Aegean city of İzmir hosted an environment conference titled, "The Swedish Model of Sustainable Development -- How Can Turkish Municipalities Benefit From It?" The Swedish ambassador participated in the event and pledged his country's assistance to help Turkey deal with its growing environmental problems.
- A new avian species, the laughing dove, has appeared for the first time on the Kızılırmak delta, in Turkey's northern province of Samsun, bringing the number of birds seen there to 340.
- New wind-power investments by the Danish firm Nordex AG and Turkey's Bilgin Enerji will produce enough energy to power some 150,000 Turkish households, reducing carbon dioxide emissions by around 300,000 tons.
- Mining permits have been granted for 42 new mines, covering almost half the acreage of the Aegean province of Muğla, a popular tourism and honey-production area. Calling on residents to oppose the mines, a local tourism official noted that visitors bring in $2 billion annually to the region, adding, "No tourist would come to a mining area."
- Flamingos and Dalmatian pelicans in a bird sanctuary in the western city of İzmir are at risk of extinction due to inadequate preservation measures, an academic at Aegean University says. Islands where the birds used to reproduce are eroding and stray dogs are posing a threat to chicks and eggs.
- Agricultural fertilizer and pesticide residues are polluting the Gulf of Saros, a popular diving and fishing spot in the northern Thrace region. According to a local environmental official, the amount of fertilizers used per hectare in Thrace is twice the normal amount, and area governments have yet to complete sewage treatment plants that they are required to build.
- Construction of a road through the Palovit Valley in the eastern Black Sea region would damage a rare forest ecosystem, says Turkey's Green Party, which has filed suit to stop it from being built. Parts of the valley are assigned as national park areas and the region is home to alluvial forests, wild boars, wolves, lynx, and the country's densest population of grizzly bears, among other plant and animal species.
- Power plants and cement factories planned for the Black Sea region are also drawing opposition from those who say the proposals would turn the area into "an energy dumpsite." Said a union chairman who joined the protest: "A vaccine for swine flu has been found, but a solution to the damage caused by power plants has not. Those who destroy the Black Sea are more dangerous than the swine flu."
Previous wrap-ups of Turkish environmental news:
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
April Eco-Tidbits from Turkey
March Eco-Tidbits from Turkey
February Eco-Tidbits from Turkey
January Eco-Tidbits from Turkey