Environmental News Roundup: Turkey

The controversial Ilısu Dam, currently under construction.
(Photo: Brandon King)
"Rather than view nature as a pool of resources that exist to be used and exploited by humans, the IEC wants Turkey’s environment to be valued as its own subject, with its own set of “rights”. The group wants the constitutional changes to reflect the truth that the rest of human society is impossible without a healthily functioning ecosystem."   Will Turkey’s New Constitution Include Ecological Protections?

"The regulation, approved in late November by Ankara’s Biosecurity Committee and put into effect at the start of 2012, gives the green light to the importation and sale of 13 genetically modified varieties of corn for livestock feed, a sign to activists and biotech lobbyists alike that Turkey’s once bio-technologies adverse climate may be coming to an end."  Genetically modified corn regulation sows seeds of discontent

"The history of wheat goes back a long way in Anatolia -- 8,000 years or so. In fact, the area that is now Turkey is believed to have been where the grain was first domesticated and developed as a crop. Some modern varieties date back to those long-ago ancestors…"These 8,000 year-old varieties can be destroyed if GMOs are allowed in to Turkey," Defne Koryürek of Slow Food Istanbul told TreeHugger recently."  Celebrating Wheat's 8,000-Year-Old History in Turkey

"Turkey’s astonishing amount of biodiversity, especially for a temperate country of its size, is being destroyed rapidly, partially in the past decade during which “Turkey’s Great Leap Forward” has put the country at the risk of “cultural and environmental bankruptcy.”  Turkey’s Conservation Crisis: Global Biodiversity Hotspots Under Threat 

Vietnam, United Arab Emirates, Turkey, and others, are still intent on acquiring civilian nuclear reactors for electricity despite the Fukushima disaster."  Doomsday Clock Ticks Closer to Midnight

"The deputy undersecretary for the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Sedat Kadıoğlu, evaluated the matter and said, “Turkey is the only member country of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) that doesn’t have a nuclear plant and so we have to explain the details of nuclear power to the public in order to prevent information pollution."  Turkey surprises Russian nuclear firm with new conditions

 "Given the magnitude of the Caspian's oil and gas reserves, many energy firms are planning new production operations in the region, along with the pipelines needed to bring the oil and gas to market. The European Union, for example, hopes to build a new natural gas pipeline called Nabucco from Azerbaijan through Turkey to Austria. Russia has proposed a competing conduit called South Stream. All of these efforts involve the geopolitical interests of major powers, ensuring that the Caspian region will remain a potential source of international crisis and conflict."  Fuel duel: Top three energy conflict hot spots

 "Turkish hydro projects along the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, for example, have dried up large swathes of former marshland in Iraq and Syria as well as dams that desert communities rely on, forcing entire communities to resettle and severely affecting local plant and animal life. Sadly, the UN report seems to have changed little about Turkey’s hydroelectric plans."  Hydroelectric Dam In Turkey May Cause Environmental Catastrophe In Georgia 

"Turkey, through its own means and domestic resources, has reduced its GHG emissions by 20 percent since 1990,” Rende said of Turkey’s progress on the road to drastic reduction in the emissions of GHG, concentrations of which in the atmosphere are believed to be the main trigger of temperature increase on earth. On the other hand, Rende noted, Turkey has also invested $2 billion in forestry over the past few years, and the positive effects of that are not included in the country’s GHG reduction statistics."  Climate negotiator Rende: Turkey ready to do its part on climate change

"The proposed 1,200 MW coal plant is among the first of over 50 coal plants now being pushed in Turkey. It’s already been a 3 year struggle for heroic local residents to block the project. This year they’ve been camping by the hundreds and protesting by the thousands for weeks and months on end. When over 10,000 people took to the streets together in November, one sign in particular caught my eye. It read: "the people of Gerze do not stand alone.""  Support Turkey Climate Activists Fighting Huge Coal Power Plant

"Greece reaffirmed its support for the Turkey-Greece-Italy (ITGI) natural gas pipeline in a joint announcement issued on Friday by the Greek ministries of foreign affairs and environment, energy and climate change. The announcement, as ANA reported, was made in view of decisions due to be made concerning the pipeline that will supply natural gas from Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz gas field." - Energy: Greece reaffirms support for ITGI gas pipeline

"Groups such as the Istanbul Chamber of Urban Planners argue that previous bridges have eventually increased traffic and boosted the city’s urban sprawl – and that the third bridge would endanger the city’s natural habitat, notably the Belgrade Forest to its north."  Turkey: building bridges regardless

"German utility E.ON wants to invest in the energy sector in Turkey, with a particular focus on power generation, and is seeking Turkish partners."  E.ON considering Turkey investment – minister