Turkey’s Iğdır once again becomes most polluted city in Europe: Report

According to the 2023 World Air Quality Report, Turkey's Iğdır once again became the most polluted city in Europe. On the other hand, Turkey ranked 44th among 134 countries in terms of air pollution.

Duvar English

A recent report titled “2023 World Air Quality Report” by IQAir has revealed that Turkey’s eastern province of Iğdır once again became the most polluted city in Europe in 2023. 

Moreover, seven cities from Turkey were among the 15 most polluted regional cities in Europe.

According to World Health Organization (WHO) standards, PM2.5 value should be at most five μg/m3 to breathe clean air in a region. According to the report, 124 of 134 countries/regions breathe polluted air above this value.

The report ranked Iğdır first in the list of cities with the most polluted air in Europe with 47.2 μg/m3. Osmaniye province followed Iğdır in Turkey with 38.5 μg/m3, followed by Sakarya’s Hendek with 37.3 μg/m3. Osmaniye and Hendek ranked 3rd and 4th in Europe with Montenegro’s Pljevlja taking the second rank in between Turkish cities.

Iğdır is surrounded by high mountains on all four sides, creating a basin-like geography where the city center is situated, hindering air circulation. The PM2.5 level was recorded as 117.2 in January 2023 in Iğdır.

Kuyulusebil in Konya was the only region in Turkey breathing clean air below WHO guideline values with 3.2 μg/m3.

On the other hand, Turkey ranked 44th among 134 countries/regions in terms of 2023 average PM2.5 concentration. Bangladesh was recorded as the most polluted country on the list, whereas French Polynesia was the least.

PM2.5 particles, one 30th the diameter of the hair, are associated with some respiratory diseases and lung cancer.

The report includes 7,812 cities spanning 134 countries/regions, created with the help of 30,000 air quality monitoring stations.