Environmental issues in Turkey

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The main environmental issues in Turkey are the conservation of biodiversity, water pollution from the dumping of chemicals and detergents[citation needed], air pollution, greenhouse gases and land degradation

Issues[edit]

Conservation of Biodiversity[edit]

"Turkey has a remarkable diversity of wildlife, due to its wide variety of habitats and unique position between three continents and three seas. Ill-considered development projects are threatening biodiversity, but a new wildlife corridor offers hope for further conservation progress." [1] Turkish montane forests face major threats to their genetic diversity associated with over-exploitation, forest fragmentation, air pollution and global climatic change.[2]

Air Pollution[edit]

Air pollution is particularly significant in urban areas;[3] the problem is especially acute in Istanbul,[4] Ankara, Erzurum, and Bursa, where the combustion of heating fuels increases particulate density in winter. Especially in Istanbul, increased car ownership causes frequent urban smog conditions. "Air pollution in urban centres, often caused by transport and the use of small-scale burning of wood or coal, is linked to a range of health problems." "PM10 levels are 36.7 micrograms per cubic meter, much higher than the OECD average of 20.9 micrograms per cubic meter and the annual guideline limit of 20 micrograms per cubic meter set by the World Health Organization." Although there is some monitoring of air pollution, compared with other European countries many air pollution indicators are not available. [5] Greenpeace Mediterranean claim that that the Afşin-Elbistan coal-fired plant is the power plant with the highest health risk in Europe, followed by the Soma coal-fired power plant, also from Turkey. [6]

Climate Change[edit]

Summer temperatures have increased and are expected to continue to increase. [7] Proposed new coal fired power plants would increase Turkey's CO
2
emissions.[8] Turkey is working towards joining the European Union Emission Trading Scheme. [9]

Water Pollution[edit]

Turkey's most pressing[citation needed] needs are for water treatment plants, wastewater treatment facilities and solid waste management. There is a potential for spills from the 5,000 oil- and gas-carrying ships that pass through the Bosporus annually.

Land degradation[edit]

Land degradation is a critical agricultural problem, caused by inappropriate use of agricultural land, overgrazing, over-fertilization,.[10] Serious soil erosion has occurred in 69% of Turkey’s land surface. According to one estimate, Turkey loses 1 billion tons of topsoil annually.

Green space in cities[edit]

Former military land in cities may be rezoned for housing. [11]

Politics[edit]

Environmental issues are becoming more politically sensitive. [12]

In general, private firms have responded more fully to environmental regulation than state owned enterprises[citation needed], which still constitute a large percentage of Turkey’s economy.

Changes in the law on environmental impact assessments are being considered which will permit mining investments without waiting for environmental impact assessments. [13]

The EU has asked for "a stronger political commitment".[14]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Library of Congress Country Studies.