Prof. Naci Görür, a member of Turkey's The Science Academy, said the southern delta of Kanal Istanbul will be "violently impacted" by the long-awaited Istanbul earthquake. Görür said that the land surrounding the southern mouth of the canal, between the two Çekmece Lakes, contained many fault lines, and the continent shelf was highly fragmented, a huge risk in a possible earthquake.
Residents of the Gürgen village in the Black Sea province of Rize's Güneysu district--the hometown of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's father--protested against the construction of a hydroelectric powerplant. “The operation here is against the law and has no legal basis, leave our village, we will not give you permission to take our land and destroy our river,” the villagers said.
Founder of Turkey's first environmental association and nicknamed "Grandpa Earth," Hayrettin Karaca died at the age of 97. Best known for establishing the Turkish Foundation for Combating Soil Erosion (TEMA), Karaca was awarded the Forest Hero Award from the United Nations in 2013. “We are deeply sorry for the loss of our Founding Honorary President and our Grandpa Earth, Mr. Hayrettin Karaca.” TEMA said on Twitter.
The environmental impact assessment for the controversial Kanal Istanbul project has been approved, Minister of Environment and Urbanization Murat Kurum said. The project has caused a public outcry due to its environmental effects on the local fauna and flora and for its consequences in a potential earthquake. Istanbul residents formed lines at the Provincial Environment and Urbanization Directorate to object to what President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan calls his dream.
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) submitted a bill to parliament with 37 articles, including one that would enable the construction of a presidential palace in the historic town of Ahlat on the coast of Lake Van, the country's largest lake. With President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's instructions, coastal laws were altered via a regulation in January of last year, potentially paving the way for the construction of the palace in Ahlat, which would involve filling in part of the coastline.
The Metsamor Nuclear Power Plant, located in Armenia 16 kilometers from the eastern Turkish province of Iğdır, has become the subject of a parliamentary inquiry. In response to a question from main opposition CHP's deputy Deniz Yavuzyılmaz, Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said that the plant, which is functioning with outdated technology, presents a great risk to the region but did not specify what, if any, precautions were being taken on Turkey's part.
Kanal Istanbul is a land rent project just like all the other projects built by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), Transport and Infrastructure Minister Cahit Turhan said, while asking "Why would we do projects that are not profitable?" "Our projects aim to bring income to this country. What does land rent mean? It means profit," Turhan said.
A workshop on the potential effects of the controversial Kanal Istanbul project was organized by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality on Jan. 10. The project will lead to the destruction of marine life in the Marmara Sea and Black Sea and will increase the salinity of water resources, thereby harming agricultural lands, according to several panelists at the workshop.
Residents of the Thracean village of Çukurpınar have presented a petition to the Ministry of Environment and Forestry to halt the expansion of a nearby stone quarry, a project that would result in tens of thousands of trees being cut down.
A recent change in legislation now exempts Turkey's thermal power plants from having to improve their ash waste storage. The main opposition CHP described this as a favor granted by the government.
Six fossil fuel plants – five completely and one partially – have been sealed off for failing to install stack filters, Environment and Urbanization Minister Murat Kurum said. The plants were held accountable for failure to comply with the preventative measures that were finalized when President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan vetoed a bill that proposed to postpone the installation of stack filters in 15 plants for two and a half years.
Turkey's Environment and Urbanization Ministry has raised fines on throwing thrash on streets. The fine for littering was increased to 351 Turkish liras from 287 liras, while the fine for businesses causing air pollution was increased to 88,499 liras from 72,197 liras. The ministry also increased fines for supermarkets that give plastic bags for free.
Humans are to be blamed for the ongoing forest fires that have engulfed Turkey's Black Sea region, and not natural causes, Forestry and Agriculture Minister Bekir Pakdemirli has said. The minister said the police will investigate if it was human negligence or malice that caused the fires.
Crayfish have been spotted in a reservoir that feeds into Van Lake, threatening the existence of the local pearl mullet, aka Van Fish. Crayfish feed on fish eggs, and their presence in the closed basin of Van Lake might lead to the extinction of the Van Fish, leaving 15,000 locals without a source of income.
The Patara region and Fırnaz Bay, two touristic destinations known for their natural beauty, will remain Grade 1 natural protection areas thanks to a successful legal battle against a decision to downgrade their status. The Ministry of Environment and Urbanization had downgraded the level of protection granted to these two sites following an assessment by a private firm.