The Kızılırmak Delta Wetland and Bird Sanctuary in the Black Sea province of Samsun has observed raging fires since the reversal of its "protected area" status. While a part of the delta was transferred to the property of the government, environmentalists suspect the fires were started intentionally.
One of the Turkish Aegean Riviera's most pristine areas, Gökova Bay was rezoned to allow construction along with nearby Marmaris and Milas. Muğla Mayor Osman Gürün said that the rezoning threatens construction of 25,000 hectares of land, and that the are would effectively "cease to exist."
Heavy presence of the Asian tiger mosquito was detected in four Istanbul districts, concerning locals as the bug can carry malaria, the Zika virus and encephalitis. The invasive species have been increasing in population around Istanbul in the past decade, an Istanbul University veterinarian said.
Climate activists who have been living in western Kaz Mountains in protest of destructive mining activities were detained as gendarmerie raided their campsite on Sept. 22. One activist said that the detentions were prompted by the wishes of Cengiz Holding, a company known for their close ties to Ankara who recently signed a tender for mining in the Kaz Mountains.
Bursts of steam rising from Mount Nemrut have raised concern among locals, amid speculations that the dormant volcano can become active again if triggered by earthquakes. “There are many fault lines arund Mount Nemrut. If these fault lines are ruptured, theoretically a [volcanic] movement can occur in Mount Nemrut. This is always a possibility,” Prof. Dr. Aydın Büyük Saraç said.
Since early summer, forest fires have been raging in the Cudi Mountains in Turkey's southeastern province of Şırnak amid claims that the blazes erupted due to deliberate military operations in the area. Ecologist Asrın Keleş from the People's Democratic Congress (HDK) said that it was abundantly clear that the fires did not erupt due to natural causes. "We received information that the forests were being shot with gunfire at night,” Keleş said.
Turkey's Environment and Urbanization Ministry will ban swimming in western Turkey's Lake Salda, often dubbed "Turkey's Maldives" for its white beaches. The lake has been the site of a controversial construction for a "people's garden" by the state.
A foresters' association slammed official data about Turkey's forest fires in 2020, noting that the Forestry General Directorate (OGM) had been known to underreport burned forestland in previous years. The OGM reported some 2,279 forest fires in the country this year.
Deniz Çil reports: A project for a natural gas harbor and Floating Storage Regasification Unit (FSRU) is threatening the Aegean Gulf of Saros, known for its natural beauty. While locals continue a legal battle against construction, Turkey's Petroleum Pipeline Corporation (BOTAŞ) has signed a tender for the project with an anonymous partner.
Locals in the northwestern province of Çanakkale have protested an impact report meeting that seeks to approve copper mining in the region by Cengiz Holding firm, which is known for its close relationship with the ruling AKP. Last month, it was reported that Cengiz Holding purchased the copper mines located in Kaz Mountains from the Canadian company Liberty Gold for $55 million dollars.
Dangerous levels of cadmium and lead were revealed in honey samples from the eastern province of Elazığ, daily Milliyet reported on Sept. 15. Although the average amount of cadmium among the samples wasn't drastic compared to European Union (EU) guidelines, outliers among the samples were concerning.
An additional 11,000 hectares will be put to tender for mining licenses on Sept. 17 in Turkey's Black Sea province of Ordu. “It is impossible to accept this environmental slaughter,” said main opposition CHP Ordu deputy Seyit Torun, who said that gold was being mined in the district of Fatsa using cyanide.
Drought in western Marmara Lake is threatening the livelihood of fishermen as the water's level dropped to 1.5 percent. While there are some 160 households in the area who are making a living on fishing, state officials deem the drought "regular."
Pro-government Cengiz Holding's purchase of copper mines in western Turkey's Kaz Mountains is threatening to wipe out three villages in the area. Mining in the mountains has been widely protested for over a year, resulting in a mere pause in activities that have already caused major deforestation.
Elvan Yılmaz reports: A dam in the Central Anatolian province of Çorum that was determined by the provincial governor to be structurally sound collapsed 12 days later, resulting in the flooding of agricultural land in the area.